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Microsoft to permanently close all physical stores

NEW YORK | Microsoft said Friday it is permanently closing nearly all of its physical stores around the world.

Like other retailers, the software and computing giant had to temporarily close all of its stores in late March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to its website, Microsoft has 83 stores worldwide, including 72 stores in the U.S., and several others abroad where it showcases and sells laptops and other hardware. Friday’s announcement reflects what the company calls a “strategic change” for its retail business as sales increasingly shift online.

U.K. tour operator scraps Florida visits over Disney measures

LONDON | Europe’s biggest travel and tourism company, TUI, is canceling all trips to Florida from the U.K. until December following the introduction of new hygiene rules at Walt Disney World Resort, including the mandatory use of face coverings.

The firm said Friday it made the decision because the new regulations would “significantly impact the holiday experience” for its customers.

Walt Disney World Resort, which includes four theme parks, will require visitors ages 2 and older to wear face coverings except when eating or swimming when it reopens in mid-July.

Borden dairy sold to private equity firms

Borden dairy, which filed for bankruptcy protection in January, has been sold to two private equity firms.

Dallas-based Borden said Friday it was sold for about $340 million to Capitol Peak Partners and KKR. Colorado-based Capitol Peak will be the majority owner while New York-based KKR will be a minority investor.

Borden’s 12 U.S. plants — which produce 500 million gallons of milk per year — will remain open and its 3,300 workers will keep their jobs, the company said. Borden CEO Tony Sarsam will step down when the sale is completed, and Capitol Peak and KKR will appoint a new board of directors.

American Airlines will book flights to full capacity

DALLAS | American Airlines will start booking flights to full capacity next week, ending any effort to promote social distancing on its planes while the United States sets records for new reported cases of the coronavirus.

American’s move matches the policy of United Airlines but contrasts sharply with rivals that limit bookings to create space between passengers to minimize the risk of contagion.

— From AP reports