Why Bose is shutting down its retail presence in certain regions this year

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Earlier this week we found out that Massmart is looking to close some of its Dion Wired stores, and now we’ve discovered that another company is reassessing its global retail plans. The firm in question is Bose, which has confirmed that it will be shutting down its entire physical retail network in Northern America, Japan, Australia and Europe.

The rather drastic move is set to happen later this year, but it still remains to be seen what the impact will be in terms of job losses for those regions, as well as whether Bose plans to undergo a similar transition in other territories.

The stores that Bose plans to close over the coming months total 119, but its other operations appear to be intact, a company spokesperson explained.

“In other parts of the world, Bose stores will remain open, including approximately 130 stores located in Greater China and the United Arab Emirates; and additional stores in India, Southeast Asia, and South Korea,” the spokesperson told The Verge.

“Originally, our retail stores gave people a way to experience, test, and talk to us about multi-component, CD and DVD-based home entertainment systems. At the time, it was a radical idea, but we focused on what our customers needed, and where they needed it – and we’re doing the same thing now,” adds Colette Burke, VP of global sales.

The “where” that Burke refers to is the ecommerce space, which has become an increasingly significant purchasing path for its products the company says. As such in the aforementioned territories, the ecommerce environment has proved strong enough for Bose to see fit to close down its physical locations.

That said having some sort of physical presence would have been nice, especially when it comes to experiencing some of the more high-end or premium speaker and audio offerings from the company.

As things look now though, most of the revenue is coming out of its headphone and earphone sales, which the vast majority of customers buy online.

Moving forward customers in regions where physical stores are closing down will still be able to experience devices in-person at other third-party retailers that stock Bose products.

Locally there has no word of Bose-branded stores closing down at the time of writing.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.