Bose is closing ALL retail stores in US, Australia, Europe and Japan

Eshelmen

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I thought they were doing doing pretty well in general. Maybe their retail stores are just not doing any sales, and were resulting in demo purposes only.

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"Bose plans to close its entire retail store footprint in North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia. The company announced the decision earlier today and pointed to the fact that its headphones, speakers, and other products “are increasingly purchased through e-commerce” as the reasoning. Hundreds of employees will be laid off as a result.

Bose opened its first physical retail store in 1993 and currently has locations in many shopping centers and the remaining malls scattered across the US. The stores are used to showcase the company’s product lineup, which has grown beyond Bose’s signature noise-canceling headphones in recent years to include smart speakers and sunglasses that double as earbuds. There are often similar demo areas at retailers like Best Buy, though Bose has plenty of competition to worry about in that environment.

The Framingham, Massachusetts-based company is privately held and is not revealing exactly how many workers are being impacted by its decision to pull out of physical retail.

“Originally, our retail stores gave people a way to experience, test, and talk to us about multi-component, CD and DVD-based home entertainment systems,” said Colette Burke, Bose’s vice president of global sales. “At the time, it was a radical idea, but we focused on what our customers needed, and where they needed it — and we’re doing the same thing now.”

Bose is shuttering its retail presence in North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia “over the next few months.” That adds up to a total of 119 stores, according to a spokesperson. “In other parts of the world, Bose stores will remain open, including approximately 130 stores located in Greater China and the United Arab Emirates; and additional stores in India, Southeast Asia, and South Korea,” the company told The Verge by email.

Bose says it’s offering outplacement assistance and severance to employees that are being laid off. The company’s full statement is below:

Given the dramatic shift to online shopping in specific markets, Bose plans to close its remaining 119 retail stores across North America, Europe, Japan and Australia over the next several months. In other parts of the world, Bose stores will remain open, including approximately 130 stores located in Greater China and the United Arab Emirates; and additional stores in India, Southeast Asia, and South Korea.

In 1993, Bose opened its first store in the United States to provide personal, private demonstrations for Wave music systems and Lifestyle home theater systems. As smartphones changed the industry, the company’s focus turned to mobile, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi solutions. Today, Bose noise-cancelling headphones, truly wireless sport earbuds, portable speakers, and smart speakers are increasingly purchased through e-commerce, including Bose.com; and Bose is a larger multi-national company, with a localized mix of channels tailored for a country or region.

“Originally, our retail stores gave people a way to experience, test, and talk to us about multi-component, CD and DVD-based home entertainment systems,” said Colette Burke, vice president of Global Sales, Bose Corporation. “At the time, it was a radical idea, but we focused on what our customers needed, and where they needed it – and we’re doing the same thing now. It’s still difficult, because the decision impacts some of our amazing store teams who make us proud every day. They take care of every person who walks through our doors – whether that’s helping with a problem, giving expert advice, or just letting someone take a break and listen to great music. Over the years, they’ve set the standard for customer service. And everyone at Bose is grateful.”

Bose will be offering outplacement assistance and severance to affected employees. Additional details, including the number of employees affected, will remain private."
 
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Darunion

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When i was in highschool in the late 90s, bose stuff was cool to have. I think people have finally caught on that they are just overpriced under-performing speakers.

Now consumers are fully informed and buy only quality not hype.
 

dgz

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When i was in highschool in the late 90s, bose stuff was cool to have. I think people have finally caught on that they are just overpriced under-performing speakers.

Now consumers are fully informed and buy only quality not hype.
Now, you listen here, Missy. Computers may be twice as fast as they were in 1973, but your consumer is as drunk and stupid as ever.
 

defaultluser

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Now, you listen here, Missy. Computers may be twice as fast as they were in 1973, but your consumer is as drunk and stupid as ever.

This is true, but Apple gave them the end-around by buying Beats, and selling them in Apple Store.

Nobody goes to Bose for headsets anymore - you have competitors at every other store imaginable.

There are tons of shitty speakers on places like Amazon that you can get for way cheaper thna Bose HT set. What else are they going to sell you in that store?

How did they survive this long? Did they start carrying other products :D
 

dvsman

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Also I don't think they ever had any sales. The only things ever discounted were refurbs and way older models.

I'm surprised it took this long for them to get out of the retail business.
 

Aix.

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As Bose is generally regarded as a "high-end" brand by the average consumer, I've only ever really seen their stores in upscale malls and other areas that probably cost a small fortune in rent.

I'm not sure I would agree that they are under-performing speakers - I don't think I've ever disliked a Bose speaker that I've heard - it's just that once you've decided you will spend a Bose-level of money on sound equipment you can easily research your way into better products in the same range or equal products for a better value. I.E. Bose Lifestyle vs Sonos, Bose Quiet Comfort vs Sony WH-1000XM, etc.
 

Comixbooks

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We have a small as Bose section at Walmart like two different sets of 300.00 headphones I dont think many people would buy them because the skullcandies and MDR Sonys are right next to them.
 

Darunion

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Now, you listen here, Missy. Computers may be twice as fast as they were in 1973, but your consumer is as drunk and stupid as ever.
haha!

Beats just replaced bose, except in like smoothie bars, they always seem to have bose speakers in there.
 

Lakados

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Bose is doing well as a whole but their retail stores are pretty useless, their online storefront supposedly is doing just fine and I would imagine that with rent going up in their very visible locations there just isn't a cost incentive to keep them going. People who are in the market for audio equipment know the Bose name and while they could often come down to the stores to try say a set of headphones most people are far more likely to just check a youtube review or 3 instead.
 

tangoseal

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Bose im sorry.... but..... Sonos is superior in the home and your headphones are good but not epic! Hope you dont shut your doors. But you can thank Amazon for the death of the brick and mortar. I think amazon should be stopped. Its getting too big and one day in a not too distant future Amazon will have corporate swat teams like Umbrella Corp. In resident evil.
 

blandead

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I work at a company that sells bose among other things.

If you were bose why keep maintaining expensive warehousing logistic systems when other places have 1-2 day shipping across the country with their own customer service.
 

Darunion

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Bose im sorry.... but..... Sonos is superior in the home and your headphones are good but not epic! Hope you dont shut your doors. But you can thank Amazon for the death of the brick and mortar. I think amazon should be stopped. Its getting too big and one day in a not too distant future Amazon will have corporate swat teams like Umbrella Corp. In resident evil.
Always thought that would be google, the logo is kinda scary. Not so much with a swat team with the amazon smile logo
 

nilepez

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I don't think I've ever seen a Bose store, but Bose products are available pretty much everywhere, so I'm sure they'll do just fine without stores. Nevertheless, friends don't let friends buy Bose. No highs no lows just...
 

M76

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I like shopping retail. The only reason I shop online is because most things are no longer available in retail stores, or you have to order them there too, which makes it pointless. Shopping = Go to the store and come back with something. Not get something delivered days later that might or might not get lost in transit.
The internet is a great tool to check the if the store has sg on the shelf.
 

Darunion

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I like shopping retail. The only reason I shop online is because most things are no longer available in retail stores, or you have to order them there too, which makes it pointless. Shopping = Go to the store and come back with something. Not get something delivered days later that might or might not get lost in transit.
The internet is a great tool to check the if the store has sg on the shelf.
I did more in store shopping when I lived in the city. After moving out to the country and the nearest best buy or walmart is 30ish mins, I just spend a couple clicks and have it shipped, and now with amazon having a lot of same day items, makes the delay even less and costs me a lot less of my own time.

It is sad seeing a few of the malls around me shutting down, but sometimes change has a bumpy road.
 

GoodBoy

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Bose has some good products, and over the years a few great ones. But it's mostly overpriced.

I bought a $250 pair of Bose computer speakers and they were completely underwhelming. Took those back to Bestbuy, bought a Logitech set that retailed for $199 on sale for like $129, and they were way better. Better frequency response, larger soundstage, and more power (so louder). The Bose $250 set performed like a $69 set...

My car has Bose and those are fine.. I didn't have to see the cost as it was hidden in the cars price tag...
 

Unabomber

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I'm pretty sure they'll be just fine, despite retail closures.

They have plenty of contracts with car manufacturers to put in their stereo equipment into their cars as factory installs, as well as countless other companies.

Regarding their speakers, I solidly agree, that they're basically nothing more than low to middle end speakers that were heavily hyped up with tons of advertising. The way I see it, it's the equivalent of Corona beer. While Corona isn't a terrible beer (for the most part), the fact that a lot of people are deluded into thinking that it's top notch Mexican beer shows how powerful advertising can be.

On another note, back when Bose did have retail stores in some of the various malls I frequented, I couldn't stand their annoying salesmen. They wouldn't answer the most basic question, where I asked them how many watts per channel a particular set of computer speakers would produce. Instead, they would all give the same corporate line of "power measurements are completely irrelevant when it comes to Bose speakers!" and the "you shouldn't fall for the hype of power ratings!"

I suppose I should be grateful... One particular Bose salesman's snotty attitude convinced me to go to a brick and mortar CompUSA, and buy a set of Altec Lansing ACS 500.1 speakers, which served me exceptionally well for 7 years.
 

The Mad Atheist

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I always Bought Other Sound Equipment and I'm a Pioneer fanboy. Don't think I owned any BOSE stuff.
Going to suck for the employees while the company shareholders reap the rewards.
Bose has retail stores?
THIS! ^ Never seen or heard of one before, and I was a mall-rat in the mid-90s.
We have a small as Bose section at Walmart like two different sets of 300.00 headphones I dont think many people would buy them because the skullcandies and MDR Sonys are right next to them.
I like the SK earbuds, Jib2 I think they're called for $10, great sound, fits nice for that price, shame they don't last, they tend to go bad on the plug end of the cable as the coated enamel rubs off on the wire. I use cut the end off and put on another plug for a few $$$.
 
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Darunion

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I will say, bose is pretty good at producing low frequency with relatively small speakers, of course sacrificing highs and some mid for it. But instead of marketing their strong point they just go out there with 'we are the best!' and that is far from true.

Did kind of always want one of those bose wave radios/cd players back in the day but damn were they expensive.

That said, since ive moved to infinity reference for my theater setup and mackies for my pc, bose who?


And why is no one talking about the bose audio sunglasses?
 

Grimlaking

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When i was in highschool in the late 90s, bose stuff was cool to have. I think people have finally caught on that they are just overpriced under-performing speakers.

Now consumers are fully informed and buy only quality not hype.
I have to say their noise cancelling headphones are FREAKIN AWESOME. But that's just me.
 

Grimlaking

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Bose stores were great places to go and demo their speakers... Oh wait... No they were not because they only had their craptastic clock radio's with simulated surround sound. Try to ask about their stand alone speakers and you get blank looks like. "What are 905's?" Gee I don't know idiot salesman perhaps some of the best speakers Bose ever actually made?!

Problem is Bose went to self powered bull shit with barely good enough built in wiring and just damaged themselves. Those Big Bose pedestal speakers from back in the day were awesome!
 

ThatITGuy

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When i was in highschool in the late 90s, bose stuff was cool to have. I think people have finally caught on that they are just overpriced under-performing speakers.

Now consumers are fully informed and buy only quality not hype.
I still have a pair of Bose speakers from almost 30 years ago. They still sound quite good to me.
 

VIC-20

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So a guy continually invents, innovates, educates and contributes to an industry for 50 years and everyone shits on his company because other companies improved upon his concepts years after the fact?

There was a better party speaker than the 901 in the late 60s? Way better bipolar designs in the mid 70s? There was a sounding tiny speaker radios in the late 80s? There was vast array of choices for tiny satellite and sub systems in the 1990s? A way better bluetooth portable speaker then the Soundlink mini in 2013? Hell its still top rated. Quietcomfort headphones have always been top rated on release as well. Their array systems in PA and long throw stuff for stadiums were ground breaking.

Whats with the hate for this company? Just because they sell designs too long after release and eventually someone makes something better so you hate them in retrospect? wtf?
 

GoodBoy

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So a guy continually invents, innovates, educates and contributes to an industry for 50 years and everyone shits on his company because other companies improved upon his concepts years after the fact??
Yes, it's because the new products do not compare to the legacy product that were great. And the company continues to try and charge prices that the great legacy products earned, on these 'average' new products.
 

Darunion

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So a guy continually invents, innovates, educates and contributes to an industry for 50 years and everyone shits on his company because other companies improved upon his concepts years after the fact?

There was a better party speaker than the 901 in the late 60s? Way better bipolar designs in the mid 70s? There was a sounding tiny speaker radios in the late 80s? There was vast array of choices for tiny satellite and sub systems in the 1990s? A way better bluetooth portable speaker then the Soundlink mini in 2013? Hell its still top rated. Quietcomfort headphones have always been top rated on release as well. Their array systems in PA and long throw stuff for stadiums were ground breaking.

Whats with the hate for this company? Just because they sell designs too long after release and eventually someone makes something better so you hate them in retrospect? wtf?
Because everyone references how great they were 30 years ago.

I dont think people are 'hating' as you say, we are all sharing our personal experiences with them. Some are good some are not so much. My opinion is their quality of sound has stagnated and isn't innovated anymore but their prices continue to keep up with inflation.

IMO they are the Apple of audio. Great in their time, had some great inventions but now just rehash old tech and new prices.
 

Merc1138

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So a guy continually invents, innovates, educates and contributes to an industry for 50 years and everyone shits on his company because other companies improved upon his concepts years after the fact?

There was a better party speaker than the 901 in the late 60s? Way better bipolar designs in the mid 70s? There was a sounding tiny speaker radios in the late 80s? There was vast array of choices for tiny satellite and sub systems in the 1990s? A way better bluetooth portable speaker then the Soundlink mini in 2013? Hell its still top rated. Quietcomfort headphones have always been top rated on release as well. Their array systems in PA and long throw stuff for stadiums were ground breaking.

Whats with the hate for this company? Just because they sell designs too long after release and eventually someone makes something better so you hate them in retrospect? wtf?
As other people have pointed out, no one is pretending bose hasn't had innovations in the past. The problem is that their marketing is a joke(I still remember those bose TV commercials where they would "demonstrate" their superior audio by just playing music louder when it's over the same speakers in your TV anyway), and they haven't done much in the way of innovation for years, certainly not in the realm of audio quality and DEFINITELY not bang for your buck.
 
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