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Bose is closing all retail locations in North America, Europe, Australia and Japan

The move is due to "the dramatic shift to online shopping."

Bose is closing several brick-and-mortar locations in the next several months.
Sarah Tew/CNET

Bose on Wednesday said it's closing 119 store locations across North America, Europe, Australia and Japan in the coming months. The audio equipment company says the move is due to "the dramatic shift to online shopping."

Bose's first US store opened in 1993. The company now says its products are increasingly being purchased online. 

"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," Colette Burke, Bose's vice president of global sales, said in a statement. "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."

The closings inevitably mean layoffs, with Burke adding that "the decision impacts some of our amazing store teams." Those employees will be offered outplacement assistance and severance, though the company isn't sharing how many people will be affected. 

Around 130 Bose stores will remain open in places including China and the United Arab Emirates, in addition to other stores in India, Southeast Asia and South Korea.

Originally published Jan.15, 3:32 p.m. PT.
Update, 3:58 p.m.: Adds statement from Bose. 

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