If you have worked hard on your SEO, archiving the products will generate a 404. Which in return provides a very bad user experience in my view.
Why would anyone create a solution without taking SEO into account is beyond understanding.
For me, the solution is pointless.
All they had to do is to create an additional product status (Archive, Draft, Hide). Hide, as the name suggests, would hide from all categories and website search without affecting SEO. The archive feature as it currently stands, is your last resort.
When a product is archived using the new function, is it removed from the sitemap? Or will a 404 error be returned if the product appears in organic search?