(Pocket-lint) - Bose is closing all its retail stores in North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia.

The privately held company, which opened its first shop in 1993 and has several locations scattered across the world, especially in shopping centres, said its customers currently tend to shop online for Bose headphones and speakers. Several Bose employees will, therefore, be laid off.

Bose products are "increasingly purchased through e-commerce", it explained. “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. 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 Massachusetts-based company is not revealing how many employees will lose their jobs as a result of its decision to curb its physical footprint, but reports indicate hundreds of employees will be affected. Bose's statement suggested the company will offer outplacement assistance and severance to affected employees, but it also noted additional details on the matter are "private".

The Verge said Bose will begin to shutter its retail presence in the next few months. A total of 119 stores across the world will close, though 130 stores will continue to operate throughout Greater China, United Arab Emirates, India, Southeast Asia, and South Korea.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.