With most Americans living under what amounts to house arrest, many retailers have decided to close their stores until the coronavirus pandemic passes. That list includes AppleNike, and now Microsoft (MSFT 1.65%), which took to Twitter to share its decision.

A Microsoft logo on its campus

Microsoft has made a decision to close all its stores. Image source: Microsoft.

What is Microsoft doing?

Most Microsoft retail stores are in malls. And while many malls have not technically closed, foot traffic has likely shrunk and many individual retailers have decided to shut down.

The company did not put a timeline on the closures. That makes sense, because the timing may vary in different markets or the company could choose to open on a limited basis (like, for example, taking appointments for repairs).

This is the right call

Microsoft has a robust online sales infrastructure. Aside from repairs, consumers can easily buy anything they need from the company's website without needing to leave the house. That's the safest choice for Microsoft's employees and its customers.

This type of shutdown is unfortunate, but necessary. By making these desicions quickly, Microsoft and other major players may make it easier for other retailers to follow suit, provided they're not selling items that are essential to help people get through the current coronavirus crisis.