In a new approach towards retail, Microsoft announced on Friday that it will be permanently closing all of its retail stores across the world. The decision comes after online sales have grown owing to the expanded digital product portfolio.

While shutting all physical stores, four store locations in NYC, London, Sydney and Redmond will be turned into experience centers. But sales will be completely redirected to online stores as the experience centers will only be for customers to try out the new products before buying.

"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," Microsoft Corporate Vice President David Porter, said in a statement.

Microsoft Stores closing down
Microsoft Stores closing downWikimedia Commons

Microsoft transitioning store workers

By closing all retail stores, one might wonder what would happen to all of its store workers. In a big relief to retail team members, they will be transitioned to new sales and other roles. The company's digital storefronts on, and stores in Xbox and Windows have the capability to reach more than 1.2 billion people every month in 190 markets, which will be the focus of Microsoft's investment.

Microsoft Stores closing 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. 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," " said Porter.