Microsoft Store transitions from physical to fully digital

By William Girling
Microsoft has announced that, in a strategic change of direction, its retail operations (Microsoft Store) will now be an exclusively digital service...

Microsoft has announced that, in a strategic change of direction, its retail operations (Microsoft Store) will now be an exclusively digital service.

Despite the amended focus, the company stated that Microsoft Store’s functions - sales, training and support - will continue unabated for its 1.2bn monthly users in 190 markets via remote working capabilities and at the company’s various corporate locations.

David Porter, Corporate VP, thanked Microsoft’s customers for their support and explained that the change was reflective of shifting business paradigms and product lines:

“Our sales have grown online as our product portfolio has evolved to largely digital offerings, and our talented team has proven success serving customers beyond any physical location.

“We are grateful to our Microsoft Store customers and we look forward to continuing to serve them online and with our retail sales team at Microsoft corporate locations.”

COVID-19: accelerating digital transformation

The company’s physical stores closed in March during the escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although this announcement means they will not re-open, Microsoft was quick to highlight that its teams had been unrelenting in their determination to help customers through the ensuing difficulties by virtual means.

Contributing over 14,000 online workshops and more than 3,000 online graduations, the effects of the virus might have changed the operational dynamic but they certainly haven’t slowed it down.

“We deliberately built teams with unique backgrounds and skills that could serve customers from anywhere. The evolution of our workforce ensured we could continue to serve customers of all sizes when they needed us most, working remotely these last months,” continued Porter. 

“Speaking over 120 languages, their diversity reflects the many communities we serve. Our commitment to growing and developing careers from this talent pool is stronger than ever.”

Kathleen Hogan, the company’s Chief People Officer, agreed: “The Microsoft Store team has long been celebrated at Microsoft and embodies our culture.

“The team has a proven track record of attracting, motivating, and developing diverse talent. This infusion of talent is invaluable for Microsoft and creates opportunities for thousands of people.”

As it has been for thousands of other companies around the world, COVID-19 continues to be a catalyst for accelerating nascent digital transformation. Microsoft is ready for the ‘new normal’ and looks forward to serving its customers in a thoroughly new and modern way.

Image courtesy of Microsoft

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