Microsoft has indicated to WPCentral that it will continue to add new retail store locations in the US and Canada even with the announcement last week that it will lay off 18,000 of its workers over the next year.
Microsoft opened up its first retail store in the fall of 2009 and has slowly expanded to include over 100 combined larger and smaller "specialty" stores located in the U.S, Canada and Puerto Rico. When Microsoft announced its plans to lay off over 14 percent of its workers, we contacted the company to find out if their restructuring plans included shutting down any Microsoft Stores or cancelling plans to open new store locations.
While the company would not offer any more information about their restructuring plans beyond what was stated last week, a Microsoft spokesperson did give this statement to us about their plans for new store locations:
In terms of overall updates for Stores, Microsoft continues to expand its retail footprint with seven new stores that have already been announced and will be opening in the coming months, including Chinook Center in Calgary, Canada, on Aug. 14, The Streets at Southpoint in Durham, NC, on Aug. 21, as well as other locations like Destiny USA in Syracuse, New York, Westfield Topanga in Canoga Park, CA and NorthPark Center in Dallas, TX. The 101 Microsoft retail stores in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico remain committed to offering customers outstanding choice, value and service.
At least for the moment, it would appear that Microsoft is sticking with its plans to open and operate its own retail stores even with CEO Satya Nadella's plans for change in the company. With Microsoft now selling its own Lumia Windows Phones, along with Surface tablets and Xbox consoles, it may be more important than ever for the company to stay the course with its retail store plans.
However, it would also appear as if Microsoft still doesn't plan to open stores in territories outside of North America (it does operate its own online stores in over 200 countries). Whether that will change or not in the new Microsoft structure remains to be seen.
Do you think its worth it for Microsoft to continue to maintain and expand its retail store plans?