One of the biggest names in premium audio has announced its plans to close all of its 119 retail stores in North America, Australia, Europe, and Japan.

Bose announced the closure on Wednesday citing “the dramatic shift to online shopping” behind its decision.

The Massachusetts-based hifi manufacturer has had a physical presence in retail since 1993 when it opened its first retail store. Bose said that the decision to open that store was one of the most “radical” ideas of the time, but helped to transform the company into a global brand.

We focused on what our customers needed, and where they needed it – and we’re doing the same thing now.

– Colette Burke, Bose VP of Sales

When Bose opened its first store, it was focused on building a glorified listening room. It was somewhere that people who were interested in the world of hifi could visit and experience first-hand the products that they were interested in buying. As more individuals shift their buying habits online, Bose’s retail position becomes more of a liability than profit center.

According to Business Insider, Bose had 10,500 employees across its entire workforce. It’s not clear how many employees will be laid off as a result of the closure.

Bose does not cite an exact time frame for the closures, though they do mention that it will begin to occur “over the next few months”.

While Americans will have to Buy Other Sound Equipment should they wish to purchased in a Bose store, shoppers in Asia and the Middle East will be able to continue shopping at 130 stores. Products will still be offered in other national chains like Apple, Best Buy, and Target.

Image Credits: Bose.