[caption id="attachment_172173" align="aligncenter" width="3732"] The Bose store in the Christiana Mall will close later this year as the audio equipment manufacturer leaves brick-and-mortar locations in the U.S. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS[/caption]
CHRISTIANA "“ The audio equipment manufacturer Bose is closing all of its stores in North America, Europe, Australia and Japan this year in a dramatic switch to focusing on online sales.
Those 119 closures will mean the end of the storefront located in the Christiana Mall in Delaware, but it won't mean the end of Bose's brick-and-mortar presence. The Massachusetts-based company will reportedly keep more than 130 stores open in lucrative overseas markets like China, the United Arab Emirates, India, Southeast Asia and South Korea.
The company said that the change in focus was necessary due to "the dramatic shift to online shopping in specific markets."
Once known for its leading position for audio equipment, including surround sound systems and simpler soundbars, Bose used its storefronts as showcases for its products starting with its first store in 1993.
Nearly three decades later, however, the brand is perhaps better known for its noise-canceling headphones and partnerships with automotive brands like Chevrolet, Nissan, Hyundai, Audi and more. It is also now competing against other high-profile audio equipment companies like Beats Electronics, Apple, Google and Amazon for a space in the marketplace.
"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," said Colette Burke, vice president of global sales at Bose Corp., in a statement announcing the store closures. "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. It's still difficult, because the decision impacts some of our amazing store teams who make us proud every day. They take care of every person who walks through our doors - whether that's helping with a problem, giving expert advice, or just letting someone take a break and listen to great music. Over the years, they've set the standard for customer service. And everyone at Bose is grateful."
Bose declined to announce how many employees would be affected by the store closures, which were said to take place in the "next few months," but noted that it would offer "outplacement assistance and severance to affected employees." The privately owned company reported about $4 billion in revenue in 2019, with about 9,000 employees.
By Jacob Owens