Microsoft will close its physical stores permanently
Company announced remodeling of its digital system and closing of its stores
- Microsoft will close its physical stores permanently
- The company will invest in increasing its presence with digital stores, offering more service options
- The main implementation will be video calls
- One employee will serve one customer at a time
- The goal is for the customer to be able to clarify doubts, see how the products work, check possible specific characteristics, in addition to being able to talk to a person about the purchase.
- Microsoft doesn’t talk about layoffs
- Possibly the existing employees will go through the job adequacy and have their jobs modified, but not lost
The Covid-19 pandemic has mitigated a trend that was already happening in the market. More and more spaces, which were previously only physical, are becoming digital . This goes for stores, banks, doctor’s appointments, among many other things. In this scenario, Microsoft has announced that it will close all of its physical stores around the world and make them digital only.
Digital stores tend to be cheaper to maintain , in addition to providing expanded access for customers. Despite this, there is a lot of concern about the layoffs that this can generate. The Microsoft said it will implement a service for one. That is, the customer who has questions and wants to be served directly by a person, will have this option. What will keep the jobs of many employees.
The service will operate by video call and each attendant will be responsible for one customer at a time. There are still no details of the times this will occur or the system used. Anyway, the software giant promises that the human experience can still be experienced.
This will also prevent many jobs from being lost, as existing employees will be able to continue working at the company, but remotely. Possibly the service will be a home office , without having to go to a specific location to attend.
Microsoft says it plans to double its presence with digital stores. Which means that access to products will be widely publicized around the world. Many stores have been closed since March 2020 , due to the social isolation needed to slow the contagion of Covid-19. This is causing costs to be implemented for companies with no return. It is not yet known how long it will be necessary to keep the physical spaces closed.
With that in mind, Microsoft conducted a public survey to identify what are the main reasons that drive customers to physical stores. The company diagnosed that, in addition to human contact, touching, testing, measuring and seeing the product are the main advantages of having a store. A video call could mitigate this loss a little.
Microsoft had been doing the opposite work until then. The company was looking to increase its presence, with more and more wide-spread stores around the world. It looked like the company was looking to offer an experience similar to what Apple applies today. Despite this, this decision totally reverses the path that was being taken.
The stores will be closed little by little, permanently. Employees must undergo training to adapt to the new platform and have their jobs modified, but maintained. Microsoft does not speak of layoffs. It seems that the digital medium will be the new normal of the software giant.
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