Framingham, Mass. — Bose Corp. will close all of its 54 stores in the U.S., as well as many remaining locations in Australia, Japan and Europe in the coming months, totaling 119 brick-and-mortar locations.
The Framingham-based company, which specializes in audio engineering, said the closures are due to “dramatic” shifts to online shopping. Bose opened its first store in 1993 and currently has its biggest concentration of stores in the Northeast (10), Southern California (nine) and Florida (seven).
“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,” says Colette Burke, vice president of global sales at Bose. “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.”
Furthermore, as smartphones changed the industry, Bose focused on mobile, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi solutions. Today, the company said its major products are being purchased through e-commerce channels, including Bose.com.
Bose says it will continue to operate 130 stores in China, the United Arab Emirates, India, Southeast Asia and South Korea.
The privately held company said it will not disclose how many employees will be affected by the closings, but it will offer outplacement assistance and severance to employees.
Amar Bose, an electrical engineer with a doctorate from MIT and a passion for audio, founded Bose in 1964. The company introduced its first speaker in 1966, and still manufactures a variety of speakers and headphones today.
— Alex Tostado