After 27 years of selling speakers and headphones in retail stores around the world, Bose has announced that it will close retail operations in North America, Europe, Japan and Australia.
According to information obtained by The Verge, Bose retail stores in those four territories are expected to close in the coming months, as the company invests more in its online presence.
In total, Bose says that around 119 stores will close in the coming months, but says it will keep 130 stores running in Greater China and the United Arab Emirates with additional stores planned for India, Southeast Asia and South Korea.
“Originally, our retail stores gave people a way to experience, test and talk to us about multi-component home entertainment systems, CDs and DVDs,” said Colette Burke, vice president of Global Sales at Bose Corporation . “At that time, it was a radical idea, but we focused on what our customers needed and where they needed it, and now we are doing the same.”
Hundreds of employees are expected to be laid off due to the decision, however, Bose said he will offer relocation and dismissal assistance to affected employees.
Third retail to the rescue.
The news is disappointing for audiophiles who have been frequenting the audio store since opening their first store in 1993 and devastating for employees who are being laid off, but Bose is only the last victim of the brick and mortar change to online commerce. It started back in the 90s.
As sad as it is to say, electronics retailers around the world are having difficulty competing with online retailers such as Amazon that can offer better prices and faster shipments for people who do not need or want personal interaction when buying technology.
The positive side here is that, for people who want that, Bose products will not disappear completely from the retail world: all products currently in Best Buy, Target and other stores will not disappear, and it is possible that the Brand may actually have a stronger presence in those retailers once there is no dedicated Bose store.
Simply put, you can still go somewhere to get buying advice on Bose headphones both at the stores of the remaining local electronics retailers and online, but the Bose store at your local mall probably won’t be there much longer .