Microsoft to permanently close all physical stores

Microsoft to permanently close all physical stores
Microsoft said Friday it is permanently closing nearly all of its physical stores around the world.

NEW YORK (AP/WBTV) - Microsoft said Friday it is permanently closing nearly all of its physical stores around the world.

Like other retailers, the software and computing giant had to temporarily close all of its stores in late March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Friday’s announcement reflects what the company calls a “strategic change” for its retail business as sales increasingly shift online.

The closure presumably includes two North Carolina locations - one at the SouthPark Mall in Charlotte and one in The Streets at Southpoint in Durham.

Microsoft has 83 stores, including 72 stores in the U.S., where it showcases and sells laptops and other hardware.

Officials said all employees would have the opportunity to remain with the company.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. WBTV contributed to this report.