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Microsoft’s 11-year retail push quietly fizzles out.
微软11年的零售推广计划悄然夭折。

Leo Sun(TMFSunLion)

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) recently announced that it will permanently close all of its brick-and-mortar Microsoft Stores worldwide. It will also convert its four stores in New York City, London, Sydney, and Redmond, Washington into "Experience Centers" that showcase its products instead of selling them.
微软(NASDAQ:MSFT)最近宣布,它将永久关闭其在全球的所有实体微软商店。它还将把位于纽约、伦敦、悉尼和华盛顿雷德蒙德的四家门店改造成“体验中心”——展示而不是销售其产品。

The closures were reportedly planned last year, according to The Verge, but significantly accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company already shuttered all its "Specialty Store" mall kiosks last year. In a press release, Microsoft VP David Porter noted that the tech giant's "product portfolio has evolved to largely digital offerings, and our talented team has proven success serving customers beyond any physical location."
据Verge报道,这些关闭措施计划于去年,但由于COVID-19大流行大大加快了关闭的速度。该公司去年已经关闭了所有的“专卖店”。微软副总裁戴维·波特(David Porter)在新闻稿中指出,这家科技巨头的“产品组合已经很大程度上发展为数字产品,我们才华横溢的团队已经证明成功地为客户提供了超越任何物理位置的服务。”

Microsoft stated that it wouldn't lay off any staff as part of the reorganization, and that it would continue paying its retail employees as they transferred to remote sales, training, and support positions. It also said it would "continue to invest in its digital storefronts" to reach over 1.2 billion people monthly in 190 markets.
微软表示,在重组过程中不会解雇任何员工,并将继续支付零售员工的工资,让他们转岗到远程销售、培训和支持岗位。该公司还表示,将“继续投资其数字店面”,以每月覆盖190个市场的12亿人。

Let's see how this strategic shift will impact Microsoft, and why it has failed to replicate Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) success in brick-and-mortar retail over the past decade.
让我们来看看这一战略转变将对微软产生怎样的影响,以及微软为何未能复制过去十年来苹果在实体零售领域的成功。

Will these closures dent Microsoft's earnings?
这些关闭会影响微软的收益吗?

Prior to the pandemic, Microsoft operated 72 stores in the U.S., seven stores in Canada, and one each in Puerto Rico, the U.K., and Australia. Microsoft doesn't separately disclose its sales from those retail stores.
在疫情爆发之前,微软在美国运营了72家门店,并在加拿大设有七家门店,在英国和澳大利亚分别设有一家店。微软没有单独披露其在这些零售店的销售情况。

However, Microsoft expects the closures of its stores to result in a pre-tax charge of $450 million, or $0.05 per share, in its fiscal fourth quarter, which ends on June 30. Those charges will primarily include asset write-offs and impairments.
但是,微软预计,关闭店面将在截至6月30日的第四季度中产生4.5亿美元的税前费用,即每股0.05美元。这些费用将主要包括资产冲销和减值。

Back in April, Microsoft guided for 6% to 9% year-over-year revenue growth in the fourth quarter, but didn't provide any earnings guidance. Analysts expect its revenue to rise 8% to $36.5 billion, but for its non-GAAP earnings to grow less than 1% to $1.38 per share.
早在今年4月,微软就曾预计第四季度营收同比增长6%至9%,但没有提供任何收益预期。分析师预计该公司收入将增长8%至365亿美元,但其非公认会计准则收益将增长不足1%,至每股1.38美元。

Microsoft's write-offs and impairments will be excluded from its non-GAAP earnings, so the store closures alone wouldn't cause it to miss analysts' expectations. However, they'll still take a bite out of its GAAP earnings, which hit $1.71 per share in the year-ago quarter.
微软的冲销和减值将被不计入其非公认会计准则收益之中,因此仅仅关闭商店并不会使其低于分析师的预期。不过,这仍会影响到通用会计准则(GAAP)收益,该公司去年第四季度的每股收益为1.71美元。

Why couldn't Microsoft follow Apple's lead?
微软为什么不能跟随苹果的销售模式呢?

Microsoft opened its first retail stores in 2009, eight years after Apple launched its first Apple Stores.
微软在2009年开设了第一家零售店,距离苹果公司开设首家Apple Store商店已有八年时间。

The brand appeal of Apple's products over the past decade -- including the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad -- turned Apple's retail stores into major attractions in otherwise struggling malls. Apple has also consistently generated higher sales per square foot than any other American retailer in recent years.
在过去的十年中,苹果产品的品牌吸引力——包括iMac、iPod、iPhone和iPad——使苹果的零售店成为了那些陷入困境的购物中心的主要吸引力。近年来,苹果每平方英尺的销售额也一直高于其他任何一家美国零售商。

Apple's stores were so popular that malls granted them sweetheart deals to move in. Back in 2015, Green Street Advisors claimed that Apple paid less than 2% of its sales to malls, compared to an average cut of 15% for other typical tenants. Microsoft, whose stores lacked Apple's brand appeal, likely couldn't generate comparable sales or secure similar deals with malls.
苹果的门店如此受欢迎,以至于各大购物中心都以私下交易的方式让它们进驻。早在2015年,绿街顾问公司(Green Street Advisors)就曾声称,苹果向购物中心支付了不到其2%的销售额,相比之下,其他普通租户的平均折扣为15%。微软的商店缺乏苹果的品牌吸引力,因此可能无法产生类似的销售额,也无法与商场达成类似的交易。

Microsoft's hardware business has improved significantly in recent years under CEO Satya Nadella, with new Surface devices and Xbox consoles attracting new buyers. However, these products were also widely available at other retailers, and Microsoft's store-based community events arguably couldn't solidify its stores as "hangouts" as Apple did with its Genius Bar and free classes.
近年来,在其首席执行官萨蒂亚•纳德拉(Satya Nadella)的领导下,微软的硬件业务得到了显著改善,新的Surface设备和Xbox控制台吸引了新的买家。然而,这些产品在其他零售商中也随处可见,并且微软基于商店的社区活动也不能像苹果的Genius Bar和免费课程那样巩固其商店的“hangouts”地位。

The right decision, but a missed opportunity
正确的决定,但错失良机

Microsoft's decision was the right move, since there wasn't a reason to continue losing money on brick-and-mortar stores throughout the retail apocalypse and COVID-19 crisis when it sold all its products online.
微软的决定是正确的,因为在零售危机和COVID-19危机期间,当微软可以在网上销售所有产品时,实体店没有理由在亏损的状态下继续营业。

The closures won't meaningfully impact Microsoft's long-term growth, but they mark a missed opportunity to follow Apple's lead in strengthening its brand with retail hangouts. They'll also reduce the number of places where Microsoft can showcase its new and upcoming hardware products.
此次关闭实体店不会对微软的长期增长产生重大影响,但这标志着微软错失了跟随苹果的脚步,通过零售场所加强品牌的机会。同时这也意味着微软会减少其展示其新的和即将推出的硬件产品的场所。

Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Leo Sun owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple and Microsoft and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $85 calls on Microsoft and short January 2021 $115 calls on Microsoft. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
特蕾莎·克斯滕是微软子公司LinkedIn的一名员工,也是Motley Fool公司的董事会成员。Leo Sun拥有苹果公司的股份。Motley Fool拥有Apple和Microsoft的股票并向其推荐,并建议以下选择:2021年1月下旬,向微软发出85美元的看涨期权,以及2021年1月上旬给微软带来115美元的看涨期权。