Shortly after closing its store doors amid the global pandemic, Microsoft confirmed it would permanently close nearly all of its stores by June 2020. Now, a little over a year later, Microsoft is returning to the physical retail game and will reopen three of the original Experience Centers.
Basically, Microsoft will go back to selling products in real brick-and-mortar stores. The company will call them “Microsoft Experience Centers”
Specific Microsoft products will hit shelves next month on July 1, but due to the ongoing global chip shortage, only select items will be available to purchase initially.
Our very own Josh Hendrickson once worked in a Microsoft store and he knows firsthand the benefit of getting physical products into the hands of customers. So while popular big-ticket items like the Xbox Series X/S won’t be available, at least not initially, you can expect them at a later date. Microsoft’s own head of retail, Travis Walter, explained that its “Microsoft Experience Centers were established to provide customers with a way to personally experience products.”
It’s worth noting that these are the top three specialty stores that Microsoft talked about during its shutdown last year. There will be no online orders or in-store pickups, so it’s not a full return to brick-and-mortar stores, but it’s a good first step. Who knows, if all goes well, we may see more Microsoft stores open later this year.
via: The Verge