Microsoft Shuts All Its Retail Stores Worldwide Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Posted on March 17, 2020 by Mehedi Hassan in Microsoft with 7 Comments

Microsoft has decided to shut down all its retail stores worldwide. The move comes after the US government’s recommendation of avoiding group gatherings with more than 10 people.

Microsoft does not have a ton of retail stores worldwide, but it’s believed to have more than 70 stores in the US, seven in Canada, and one each in England, Australia, and Puerto Rico (via GeekWire).

Apple also shut down all its retail stores worldwide in a move to protect customers against the COVID-19 outbreak. Apple is believed to have more than 500 retail stores worldwide.

Microsoft announced the shutdown of its stores last evening after the company initially took measures to implement social distancing across all its stores:

“We are closing all Microsoft Store locations to help protect the health and safety of our customers and our employees. During this unprecedented time, the best way we can serve you is to do everything we can to help minimize the risk of the virus spreading. We will re-open as soon it is safe to do so,” said David Porter, the CVP of Microsoft Store in a LinkedIn post. 

Porter reassured employees that Microsoft will continue to pay employees for their “scheduled hours”. Microsoft has done a really good job with its response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and that continues with the latest move to shut down its retail stores.

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Comments (7)

7 responses to “Microsoft Shuts All Its Retail Stores Worldwide Amid Coronavirus Concerns”

  1. wright_is

    In many countries, it is a legal requirement that they close anyway.

    Over here, only pharmacies and food stores are allowed to open their doors to the public.

    All clothing, electronics stores etc. have to remain closed.

    Still, it is a good move, pre-emptively closing them in countries where such an order hasn't been given.

    That said, I thought they only had stores in the USA, Canada and 1 in London?

    • longhorn

      In reply to wright_is:

      Honest question:

      What makes Corona worse than seasonal flu? People forget that each year many elderly people with weakened immune systems die from the flu each year.

      "To put that in perspective: In 2017–18, the worst flu season on record in the U.S. outside of a pandemic, approximately 80,000 Americans died."

      "As of Monday evening, there were 182,405 confirmed [Corona] cases globally and 7,074 deaths, according to data the latest rally from the database of Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering; the database also reported 79,433 recoveries. The U.S. has had at least 4,661 confirmed coronavirus cases and 85 deaths."

      This would indicate that the death rate of the flu in the US is almost 1000 times higher than the death rate of Corona in the US at present. 80 000 people vs 85 people.

      [Published: March 16, 2020 at 11:33 p.m. ET]

      • wright_is

        In reply to longhorn:

        As far as I understand it, SAR-CoV-2 is "just another" 'flu strain. But it is supposedly spread quicker than "normal", seasonal flus - you also have to remember that the USA is several weeks behind the rest of the world, when it comes to testing for possible infections, so the actual number of infections and deaths is pretty much unknown/under reported in the USA.

        I'm still in two minds about it. On the one hand, it isn't "yet" a big killer, compared to the combined flus we get each year, but it seems to have a very high mortality rate in the elderly and those with respiratory problems, for this group, it is a major problem. On the other hand, unless it is the banks and pharma industry working together, why are we currently trying to kill our economies?

        On the gripping hand, we are still in the relatively early stages, given its incubation period.

      • mattbg

        In reply to longhorn:

        Agree - from that perspective, it is overblown.

        I think we are missing one piece of the story - which is, just how serious are these hospitalizations for the people that do get a strong reaction?

        I have read some anonymous accounts that suggest that - separate from the death count - younger people (40-60) who are otherwise healthy with no underlying conditions are being affected such that their lungs are essentially unworkable and they rely on ventilation and intensive care to pull through (and in the absence of available ventilators they would die). They may not become part of the death count... unless the available resources are occupied by too many such cases at once.

        There has been some suggestion that certain medications are counterproductive (i.e. blood pressure medication, ibuprofen).

        But in the absence of information, I have this picture in my head of the world being in lockdown and emergency rooms around the world being these serene places where nothing is going on.

        On a pure death rate basis, you are right - it is a heavy over-reaction. Which makes me believe that if you reject conspiracy theories then there is a piece of information we are missing that the decision-makers have that makes this make sense.

        I'm sure someone is going to do a calculation at the end of this and say that the economic cost was $1 million per life saved or something like that. Is that worth it? I have my opinion but who is going to go first in saying it publicly?

        The environmentalists must be blowing their lid at the moment. This is the type of reaction they wanted to see happen for climate change, but until something affects the Boomers in the here and now they will not get it. Even if you disagree with that narrative, you must agree that it is a narrative :)

  2. JH_Radio

    Had on Fox 29 news this morning. The thing of it is, they say you can be positive for this thing without showing any kind of symstems. I think that is the biggest reason why they are doing what they're doing.