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Bose to close all UK retail stores due to ‘dramatic shift’ online

By Jamie Harris, PA Science Technology Reporter

Audio maker Bose has announced plans to close all 119 of its own retail stores across the UK, Europe, North America, Japan and Australia.

The Massachusetts-based firm said the move was prompted by a “dramatic shift” to online shopping in many parts of the world.

Closures are expected to take place over the next several months, but around 130 stores in Greater China, the United Arab Emirates, India, Southeast Asia, and South Korea will be unaffected and remain open.

Bose said there are “approximately 10 stores in Great Britain”, which include its UK flagship on London’s Regent Street.

The privately-held company refused to reveal how many employees would be affected but said it would offer “outplacement assistance and severance”.

“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,” explained Colette Burke, vice president of global sales at Bose Corporation.

“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.”