Microsoft confirmed on Friday that their authorized reseller network of Microsoft Stores in Brazil will be closing in the near future. The company has around 27 brick and mortar locations across the country, which include stores in Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Manaus, Sao Luis, Uberlândia, Contagem, Bethlehem, Niterói, Natal and São Paulo, as well as other store-in store or kiosk locations which bring the number up to around fifty.
In a statement to a Brazilian news website, Microsoft said:
“Microsoft, together with its franchisees in a strategic decision for the channel confirms the closing set of certain physical stores of the brand Microsoft Store – Authorized Reseller in Brazil. The company makes clear, however, that the service’s online store brand continues to operate normally and serving the entire national territory. “
Microsoft emphasized that it will instead opt to roll back to its previous offering of purchasing hardware and services through its online stores, as well as from retailers such as Walmart, US Submarine Shoptime and Ponto Frio in Brazil.
After what seemed to be a coup of more than fifty Nokia retail points in the country thanks to the purchase of Nokia's device and service's division in 2014, Microsoft began toning down operations, with the sale of an ex-Nokia factory in the region in late 2015 to Flextronics.
Along with the delaying of bringing their current Windows 10 range to the region, Brazil, which was one of Windows Phone’s biggest markets, with a store opening there less than a year ago, will likely see a drop in Microsoft’s market share there following a combination of these actions.
On the plus side, the stores may have closure sales which could come with major clear-out discounts, which is the only silver lining in economically beleaguered Brazil at present.