Microsoft is closing all of its retail stores worldwide due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The move, which comes just days Apple shuttered all of its retail locations outside of China and hours after the US government recommended the limiting of social gatherings of 10 or more people, will see Microsoft close all of its 70 stores worldwide.
“All Microsoft Store locations are currently closed until further notice due to COVID-19 health concerns,” a notice from Microsoft reads. “We know that families, remote workers and businesses are under pressure at this time, and we are still here to serve you online at microsoft.com.”
The company hasn’t yet said when it plans to reopen its retail locations, but David Porter, corporate vice president at Microsoft, said in a Linkedin post that it was “carefully following the guidance of public health officials and local authorities to guide our decisions on store closures.”
For the safety of our customers and employees, we are closing all global Microsoft Store locations, effective immediately. For help, please visit https://t.co/tzwDaQSY0k. pic.twitter.com/KjMr8TQh3yMarch 17, 2020
Additionally, Microsoft issued a joint statement on its response to the pandemic, along with LinkedIn, Google, Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, and YouTube.
These measures come after the company on Saturday introduced new “social distancing” measures for its stores. This involved closing stores to general browsing, the cancellation of in-store events, creating space for customers to have safe social distancing while they are served and operating at reduced hours.
“All of our Microsoft Store employees affected by this outbreak can count on being paid for their regularly scheduled hours – whether due to store closures, reduced store hours or other circumstances outlined by our HR guidance,” Porter added.
Microsoft, which was one of the first companies to tell employees to work from home as coronavirus began spreading in the Seattle area, also last week announced that its Build developer conference would this year be an online-only event, after
Washington state has banned gatherings of more than 50 people.
“The safety of our community is a top priority,” the company said in a statement. “In light of the health safety recommendations for Washington State, we will deliver our annual Microsoft Build event for developers as a digital event, in lieu of an in-person event.”