Microsoft closing all stores permanently

Microsoft announced Friday that it is closing all of its 83 physical stores and switching to online only. (Source: CNN/file)

(CNN) - One of the pioneers of modern software is getting out of the brick-and-mortar business.

Microsoft announced Friday that it is closing all of its 83 physical stores and switching to online only.

“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,” said Microsoft Corporate Vice President David Porter in a blog post. “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.”

Most of the company’s stores have been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. It says four locations will become experience centers to showcase technology but won’t necessarily sell products.

The tech giant estimates that it reaches 1.2 billion people every month through its online stores.

Microsoft said closing the stores will cost about $450 million in taxes but calls it a smart and strategic decision.

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