Microsoft has shut all of its retail stores as COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to spread. It follows advice from governments in the UK, Denmark, and many other countries to avoid group gatherings.
Thankfully, the impact on the company’s bottom line shouldn’t be too massive. It has around 70 in the US, three in Canada, one in Puerto Rico, and one in England. For the most part, it’s the online Microsoft Store and participating retailer that drive its sales outside of the states.
“All Microsoft Store locations are currently closed until further notice due to COVID-19 health concerns,” reads the statement. “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.”
In the US, FedEx is continuing to deliver packages, but those in regions severely impacted by the virus may see delays. The USPS isn’t seeing a hit on its services quite yet inside of the US. At this time, then, customers shouldn’t have an issue receiving their packages, but that could still change.
According to Microsoft Store CVP David Porter, workers will continue to be paid for their scheduled hours. Closing the stores should help prevent spread to them as well as customers.
There’s no specific date on when stores will re-open. Porter says it will happen “as soon as it is safe to do so,” which could between weeks and months from now. Ultimately, not every company will be able to afford to pay all of its employees, but as one of the most valuable in the world, Microsoft can take the hit.