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Microsoft closing all its retail stores

Microsoft said Friday that it will permanently close its retail stores, in a change of strategy driven by its focus on digital sales.

The company's retail stores closed in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Microsoft operates stores in Seattle and about 80 other sites across the U.S. and Canada. It has single stores in London and in Sydney, Australia.

"The company's retail team members will continue to serve customers from Microsoft corporate facilities and remotely providing sales, training, and support," the company said in a statement. "Microsoft will continue to invest in its digital storefronts on Microsoft.com, and stores in Xbox and Windows, reaching more than 1.2 billion people every month in 190 markets."

David Porter, Microsoft corporate vice president, said in the statement that "Our sales have grown online as our product portfolio has evolved to largely digital offerings, and our talented team has proven success serving customers beyond any physical location."

[CORONAVIRUS: Click here for our complete coverage » arkansasonline.com/coronavirus]

-- The Seattle Times

New Orleans brewery pulling 'Dixie' name

NEW ORLEANS -- Dixie Brewery in New Orleans and all of its products are getting a new name.

New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson said Friday she is in the process of rebranding the historic brewery, which reopened this year in New Orleans after being shuttered since Hurricane Katrina hit the city in 2005.

Tom Benson purchased the brewing company in 2017. Its product had been brewed out of state since the storm. Gayle Benson said they always intended to return production to the city and did so in January.

In a statement, Benson said she wants to make sure the brand represents the entire community. After research and reaching out to community leaders, she said they felt the Dixie brand would be a sign of rebuilding following the storm.

"We recognize ... that our nation and community are currently engaged in critical conversations about racism and systemic social issues that have caused immeasurable pain and oppression of our black and brown communities," Benson said.

There is no word on the new name of the brewery or when the change will occur. Dixie Brewery originally opened in 1907.

-- The Associated Press

Index loses 10.03, ends day at 372.43

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Friday at 372.43, down 10.03.

Eleven index stocks fell alongside sharp declines in the three major indexes as some states, including Florida and Texas, rolled back plans to more widely reopen their economies amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

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