Microsoft is closing all of its stores

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New York (CNN Business) - Microsoft is getting out of the brick-and-mortar retail business.
The company announced Friday it will close down all of its 83 physical stores and switch to online only.
It will keep its London; New York City; Sydney, Australia and Redmond, Washington locations, but they will be reimagined as "experience centers," the company stated. They will showcase Microsoft's technology, such as Surface PCs, Xbox, "Minecraft," Windows and Office, but they won't necessarily sell anything.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/26/tech/microsoft-stores-closing/index.html
 

Lakados

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Can’t blame them, they are better showcasing their stuff at trade shows and conferences. Brick and Morter for the most part is going to be at best a minor loss and functioning as advertising.
 

Dead Parrot

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Probably a good move. Microsoft is mainly a software and service company despite many attempts to enter the hardware market. Software and service can be shown online just about as well as in a B&M store and to everyone not just those near the few Microsoft stores.
 

noko

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Here in Florida in Orlando in The Mall at Millennia, I've seen the store more crowded at times then the Apple store. Xbox and Surface hardware at times were flying out the door, testing of VR headsets was also captivating an audience for awhile. Now they had two other stores here, Florida Mall and Longwood which were not as busy when I went there. Having a presence in key very busy dense population areas and not over doing it I think is a good thing, also gives a sense of support and someone/someplace to go to vice some unknown person over a phone. Plus can be used as a hub for the local business's, marketing etc. on Microsoft products and software, I think this is a mistake in general in the long run.
 

Aegir

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Just like with their OS, their stores should be used as a 24/7 tradeshow area and community zone, where other vendors can show off their Windows compatible hardware and software, and where computer enthusiasts can meet up and have a fun time with LAN gaming or getting tech help. Microsoft doesn't need to focus on pure revenue as much as they do their image.

Being an "evil corporation" hurts more in the long-term, because people will always be keeping an eye out for alternatives.
 

Aurelius

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Here in Florida in Orlando in The Mall at Millennia, I've seen the store more crowded at times then the Apple store. Xbox and Surface hardware at times were flying out the door, testing of VR headsets was also captivating an audience for awhile. Now they had two other stores here, Florida Mall and Longwood which were not as busy when I went there. Having a presence in key very busy dense population areas and not over doing it I think is a good thing, also gives a sense of support and someone/someplace to go to vice some unknown person over a phone. Plus can be used as a hub for the local business's, marketing etc. on Microsoft products and software, I think this is a mistake in general in the long run.
It really varies from area to area. I've been to a couple of Microsoft Stores in the past (Austin and San Francisco, mainly), and they were either quiet or moderately busy at most.

My issue was that Microsoft's shops continually felt like you were visiting an off-brand Apple Store. Don't get me wrong, there were some cool things, but it was hard to ignore that this was the product of Steve Ballmer-era Microsoft's "anything Apple can do, we can do too" mindset, and that the very nature of the Windows ecosystem limited its appeal. Microsoft could only curate a small slice of the PC market, and that meant including truly mediocre products like those $200 HP Stream 11 systems. Why go into a store where there's a real chance they don't have what you want?
 

mustang_steve

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Brand specific electronics stores are lame. Very few people are brand loyal on their computers, printers, etc. There may be some niche followings, but niche isn't easy to do in this age of online commerce
 

Mchart

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I think there is still place for brick and mortar, but it needs to be more along the lines of "Micro Center", and less along the lines of "Apple Store".

The boutique experience just needs to die a horrible death.
For actual luxury brands like Rolex I disagree. It’s part of the reason you buy it.

The problem is that tech companies think they can be luxury brands when they aren’t. Tech doesn’t last, but a good suit or a nice watch does.
 

ManofGod

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I cannot say I am surprised, since they never really made an all out effort in it, anyways. Getting rid of the phones and selling just laptops, XBox consoles and games, with some Android phones was not really a pull for people. Also, all the stores are probably closed at the moment, anyways.
 

ManofGod

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Brick and Mortar is for liquor, food, medicine,mattresses (things you need to touch/sit in/on to evaluate) and anything that weighs too much to casually ship back and forth at this point.
Yeah, Best Buy is not going away but, that is because they are the only ones left in a lot of places. (Walmart does not count, since they typically do not have anything in store, anyways.)
 

jmilcher

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Brand specific electronics stores are lame. Very few people are brand loyal on their computers, printers, etc. There may be some niche followings, but niche isn't easy to do in this age of online commerce
You just not know any Apple owners or console fan boys. Oh and do you frequent any computer forums? Brand loyalty is very much a thing.
 

Flogger23m

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Yeah, Best Buy is not going away but, that is because they are the only ones left in a lot of places. (Walmart does not count, since they typically do not have anything in store, anyways.)
Best Buy has its place. It is good to feel mice/keyboards and other accessories before you buy and the return policy is good. It also has store pick up from online, so if you're worried about porch thieves that is a good option.
 

jmilcher

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Best Buy has its place. It is good to feel mice/keyboards and other accessories before you buy and the return policy is good. It also has store pick up from online, so if you're worried about porch thieves that is a good option.
Best Buy return policy is good? 14 days on most items? Lol one of the worst in the industry. And a reason I do not purchase from there anymore.
 

ManofGod

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Best Buy return policy is good? 14 days on most items? Lol one of the worst in the industry. And a reason I do not purchase from there anymore.
14 days is fine. However, because of the stuff going on, I believe it is upwards of 45 days at this time. That said, they also price match and if they have something in stock, I can get it the same day. After all, not all of us have a Microcenter to go to. :)
 

mustang_steve

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You just not know any Apple owners or console fan boys. Oh and do you frequent any computer forums? Brand loyalty is very much a thing.
Asking if I visit computer forums on a computer forum...does not convey enough awareness to make meaningful insights. Especially thinking computer forums are anything close to a large part of the consumer base that brand specific shops like the MS store would attract.
 

jmilcher

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Asking if I visit computer forums on a computer forum...does not convey enough awareness to make meaningful insights. Especially thinking computer forums are anything close to a large part of the consumer base that brand specific shops like the MS store would attract.
The use of elegant words does not emphasize or convey a point. You knew exactly what I meant.

and there was a hint of sarcasm in my original post, it may have flown right by.
 

cybereality

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I visited the Microsoft store in San Francisco, it was pretty nice actually. Obviously they were trying to bite off Apple, but it was a good attempt.

Definitely a fan of the Surface line, IMO they innovated more than Apple with that product (and Apple has since bit off them).
 

Flogger23m

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Best Buy return policy is good? 14 days on most items? Lol one of the worst in the industry. And a reason I do not purchase from there anymore.
Free returns on opened items.

Amazon, Microcenter, ect. will charge restocking fees. Amazon even charges for returns that are unopened last I checked. You only get free returns if the item is broken. Maybe they changed that.

But Best Buy has been super easy to return opened items to. YMMV.
 

jmilcher

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Free returns on opened items.

Amazon, Microcenter, ect. will charge restocking fees. Amazon even charges for returns that are unopened last I checked. You only get free returns if the item is broken. Maybe they changed that.

But Best Buy has been super easy to return opened items to. YMMV.
You haven’t shopped at amazon in a long time then. I’m a prime member and return things regularly with absolutely no issue. I’m fact I’ve had a few things fall outside of the return window and their customer service is top notch.

Best Buy will never see a dollar of my money again. They are only still relevant because they are the last of their kind. And they will eventually suffer the same demise.
 

Staples

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I know it is cool to hate Best Buy but their return policy (shame if you didn't research it beforehand) is fairly good. Returns on electronics are bad to non existant on most retailers.
 
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nilepez

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Brand specific electronics stores are lame. Very few people are brand loyal on their computers, printers, etc. There may be some niche followings, but niche isn't easy to do in this age of online commerce
It wasn't exactly brand specific. When I lived in TX, they had one and it had laptops from a variety of companies and I think they had accessories from other companies as well. I got a really good deal on a Dell XPS laptop at the store. Where I live now, it's no loss, because the MS store is just a kiosk in the middle of the mall. I'm not sure what the point of it is.
 

Flogger23m

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Amazon does make you pay for the shipping back if you don't like the item, they only cover 100% if it's broken.
Been that way forever, unless something changed frequently. I'm not seeing how that is "better" unless you like paying for returns. Maybe Prime waives it, but you pay what, $100 a year for that? I don't do nearly that many returns, but its nice to have the option without needing to pay more upfront.

To each their own.
 

cybereality

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Well, I do enjoy shopping online. Not really fond of giving Bezos even more money, but Amazon does have solid service.

I only go to Best Buy for time critical situations, like when I needed an HDMI 2.0 cable for a new TV and didn't want to wait 2 days for Amazon.
 

ManofGod

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Well, I do enjoy shopping online. Not really fond of giving Bezos even more money, but Amazon does have solid service.

I only go to Best Buy for time critical situations, like when I needed an HDMI 2.0 cable for a new TV and didn't want to wait 2 days for Amazon.
Well, go luck with 2 days nowadays. Besides, I do not shop Amazon because of the way in which they treat their employees, which is to say, extremely poorly.
 

Flogger23m

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Well, I do enjoy shopping online. Not really fond of giving Bezos even more money, but Amazon does have solid service.

I only go to Best Buy for time critical situations, like when I needed an HDMI 2.0 cable for a new TV and didn't want to wait 2 days for Amazon.
Exactly, that is a good niche they serve. I wish they'd have more product options in store, but again, it fills a niche even if a small one. I have gotten most recent peripherals from Best Buy as they are priced the same or better than Amazon plus I can return them if I don't like the feel. Did this with a mouse. Again, not something I want to make a habit but it fills it niche.

Everything else I tend to get from B&H but their "sales" put me off the last time I tried to buy from them. The Black Friday sales which start, and then immediately block the ability to make orders due to their Jewish holiday pissed me off last time. I have no problem with the policy itself (their store, their rules) but advertising a sale and then blocking checkout for the duration of the sale seems like bait and switch to me.

Amazon? Mostly slow shipping and terrible treatment of their customers, but I won't avoid them entirely. I'm not exclusive to any one store and do shop around.
 

ManofGod

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Exactly, that is a good niche they serve. I wish they'd have more product options in store, but again, it fills a niche even if a small one. I have gotten most recent peripherals from Best Buy as they are priced the same or better than Amazon plus I can return them if I don't like the feel. Did this with a mouse. Again, not something I want to make a habit but it fills it niche.

Everything else I tend to get from B&H but their "sales" put me off the last time I tried to buy from them. The Black Friday sales which start, and then immediately block the ability to make orders due to their Jewish holiday pissed me off last time. I have no problem with the policy itself (their store, their rules) but advertising a sale and then blocking checkout for the duration of the sale seems like bait and switch to me.

Amazon? Mostly slow shipping and terrible treatment of their customers, but I won't avoid them entirely. I'm not exclusive to any one store and do shop around.
I upgraded my 3 computers with one 3600, two 3700x's and 2 x 2TB Sandisk Ultra SSD in the last 6 months, all from Best Buy. I price matched the 3700's and the Sandisk drives were the best price around for them. I am not going to reward Amazon for treating the employees like they are disposable, no thanks.
 

cybereality

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I sometimes order from Best Buy for in-store pickup when new GPUs come out.

Amazon and NewEgg sell out immediately, but I find Best Buy usually has stock (maybe since people don't think to check there).

Also nice to grab a new GPU on launch day and have a few extra days of benchmarking before everyone else.
 

Flogger23m

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I upgraded my 3 computers with one 3600, two 3700x's and 2 x 2TB Sandisk Ultra SSD in the last 6 months, all from Best Buy. I price matched the 3700's and the Sandisk drives were the best price around for them. I am not going to reward Amazon for treating the employees like they are disposable, no thanks.
I got in on the Sandisk SSD deal to, in the traditional form factor SATA. Was the cheapest place if I recall.
 

jmilcher

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Actually as much as I
Been that way forever, unless something changed frequently. I'm not seeing how that is "better" unless you like paying for returns. Maybe Prime waives it, but you pay what, $100 a year for that? I don't do nearly that many returns, but its nice to have the option without needing to pay more upfront.

To each their own.
The advantage to prime is not the return process. It’s the free shipping. I buy so often online, I’ve saved the annual fee in just the first month if I had paid shipping for all I bought. If you only occasional buy from amazon it’s a waste.
 

NeoNemesis

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Been that way forever, unless something changed frequently. I'm not seeing how that is "better" unless you like paying for returns. Maybe Prime waives it, but you pay what, $100 a year for that? I don't do nearly that many returns, but its nice to have the option without needing to pay more upfront.

To each their own.
Ptime doesn’t waive return costs for non damaged items.

That said, you do get prime video and music included with the free shipping so it’s more than worth it.
 

the901

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Ptime doesn’t waive return costs for non damaged items.

That said, you do get prime video and music included with the free shipping so it’s more than worth it.
Is this a recent change? I've never been charged for returns.
 

nilepez

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Ptime doesn’t waive return costs for non damaged items.

That said, you do get prime video and music included with the free shipping so it’s more than worth it.
Unless something has changed recently, you can return stuff for free. I bought some software from Amazon. A week later it was discounted, so i bought it and returned the original order. As I recall, I had to take it to the UPS Store. I can't remember if I Preprinted the label or you had to take it there and let them print the label (only 1 version was free....probably the latter).
 
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