Audio equipment company Bose has announced it is closing 119 retail locations due to changing customer demand, according to a report.
Part of the issue lies in the fact that brick-and-mortar stores are finding it harder to compete with Amazon and its next-day shipping offer.
Hundreds of workers will lose their jobs. Bose’s first store opened in 1993, and many stores are scattered throughout malls around the U.S.
The company’s stores allowed for demos of its products, which include noise-canceling headphones, smart speakers and earbud sunglasses, among other products.
“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, Bose’s vice president of global sales, according to a report by The Verge. “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.”
Bose will close all stores in North America, Japan, Australia and Europe through the “next few months,” noted the report.
“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 company said.
Bose also talked about how it tried to keep up with changing technological trends.
“In 1993, Bose opened its first store in the United States to provide personal, private demonstrations for Wave music systems and Lifestyle home theater systems. As smartphones changed the industry, the company’s focus turned to mobile, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi solutions,” the company said in a statement. “Today, Bose noise-canceling headphones, truly wireless sport earbuds, portable speakers and smart speakers are increasingly purchased through eCommerce, including Bose.com; and Bose is a larger, multi-national company, with a localized mix of channels tailored for a country or region.”