Bose plans to close its entire retail store footprint in North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia. The company announced the decision earlier today and pointed to the fact that its headphones, speakers, and other products "are increasingly purchased through e-commerce" as the reasoning. Hundreds of employees will be laid off as a result. The Verge reports: Bose opened its first physical retail store in 1993 and currently has locations in many shopping centers and the remaining malls scattered across the US. The stores are used to showcase the company's product lineup, which has grown beyond Bose's signature noise-canceling headphones in recent years to include smart speakers and sunglasses that double as earbuds. There are often similar demo areas at retailers like Best Buy, though Bose has plenty of competition to worry about in that environment. The Framingham, Massachusetts-based company is privately held and is not revealing exactly how many workers are being impacted by its decision to pull out of physical retail. Bose is shuttering its retail presence in North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia "over the next few months." That adds up to a total of 119 stores, according to a spokesperson. "In other parts of the world, Bose stores will remain open, including approximately 130 stores located in Greater China and the United Arab Emirates; and additional stores in India, Southeast Asia, and South Korea," the company told The Verge by email. Bose says it's offering outplacement assistance and severance to employees that are being laid off.Read more of this story at Slashdot. Click here to read full news..