Amazon closes physical bookstores and 4-star stores

FILE - Customers buy a bag of books at an Amazon Books store, Nov. 20, 2017, in New York City.  Amazon confirms it is closing all of its brick-and-mortar bookstores as well as 4-star stores and pop-ups as the online giant reworks its physical footprint.  The Seattle-based company said Wednesday, March 2, 2022 that the move, which affects 66 stores in the US and two in the UK, allows it to focus its efforts on Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market, its convenience concept called Amazon .  Go and its upcoming Amazon Style stores.  (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

FILE – Customers buy a bag of books at an Amazon Books store, Nov. 20, 2017, in New York City. Amazon confirms it is closing all of its brick-and-mortar bookstores as well as 4-star stores and pop-ups as the online giant reworks its physical footprint. The Seattle-based company said Wednesday, March 2, 2022 that the move, which affects 66 stores in the US and two in the UK, allows it to focus its efforts on Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market, its convenience concept called Amazon . Go and its upcoming Amazon Style stores. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

PA

Amazon is closing all of its brick-and-mortar bookstores, along with its 4-star stores and pop-up locations, as the online retail giant reworks its physical footprint.

The Seattle-based company said on Wednesday that the move, which involves 66 stores in the United States and two in the United Kingdom, will allow it to focus its efforts on Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market, its convenience concept called Amazon Go and its next Amazon Style Shops. Amazon Style, which will sell fashion and accessories, is set to open in a Southern California mall later this year.

“We remain committed to building long-term physical retail experiences and technologies and are working closely with our relevant employees to help them find new roles within Amazon,” the company said in a statement. communicated.

It was not immediately clear how many Amazon workers are affected.

Amazon opened its first brick-and-mortar bookstore in 2015, two decades after it began selling books online and helped shut down a number of stores. Amazon’s 4-Star Stores, which debuted in 2018, offer a limited selection of best-selling products across major categories sold by Amazon.com, including appliances, consumer electronics, toys and games .

The move comes as Amazon.com Inc.’s overall revenue growth slows and it looks for new ways to boost sales.

Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, said the strategy came as a surprise. He said he thought it was an acknowledgment that bookstores weren’t providing the feedback Amazon was looking for.

Saunders said he thinks the main problem with Amazon’s non-food stores is that they have no real purpose, even though the merchandise is well presented.

“They were designed for people to walk in and browse rather than as destinations where people would head on a mission to buy something,” he wrote in a note Wednesday. He noted that ultimately it was not good for driving customer traffic, especially at a time when people are visiting stores less.

Saunders added that the other issue is the assortment, which in many places was disjointed and blurry.

News of the closure was first reported by Reuters.

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