Microsoft closes all retail stores worldwide due to COVID-19 outbreak
Microsoft announced late Monday that it will close all Microsoft Store retail locations due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The decision follows other companies including Apple and Nike that have closed stores amid the global pandemic.
Microsoft has more than 70 U.S. stores; seven in Canada; and one each in Puerto Rico, Australia, and England.
“We know families, remote workers and businesses are under unique pressure at this time, and we are still here to serve you online at microsoft.com,” the company said in a statement.
Microsoft on Saturday implemented social distancing and other rules for its stores.
GeekWire photographer Kevin Lisota was in Salt Lake City, Utah earlier on Monday and stopped by a Microsoft Store. It was open, but customers weren’t allowed to browse. They could ask questions and buy products at the front.
No date was given for when the Microsoft Stores will re-open.
This past Friday, Apple shut down all retail stores outside of Greater China until March 27.
Microsoft was one of the first companies to ask employees to work from home as the COVID-19 disease began spreading in the Seattle area. Two employees tested positive on March 6. The company employs nearly 54,000 people in the Seattle region, most of them at its headquarters in Redmond, Wash.
The company last week moved its Build developer event in Seattle to an online-only event. Washington state has banned gatherings of more than 50 people.
Microsoft stock fell 14 percent Monday. A survey from RBC showed that Microsoft businesses such as Azure, Skype for Business, and Microsoft Teams could help the tech giant weather impacts from the COVID-19 outbreak.