Amazon said on Wednesday it plans to close all 68 brick-and-mortar bookstores, kiosks and toy and home goods stores in the US and UK, ending some of its longest-running retail experiments.
The “4-star” units, kiosks and bookstores will be closed. This will take place on different dates and the company says it will notify customers.
Workers will receive severance pay or help find jobs at any nearby company stores, such as more than a dozen Amazon Fresh grocery stores, the company said. The company did not specify how many jobs will be cut.
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The company’s “physical store” revenue — which accounted for just 3% of Amazon’s $137 billion in sales in the last quarter, largely a reflection of consumer spending at its subsidiary Whole Foods — has often failed to keep up. growth of the retailer’s other businesses.
Amazon said it will focus more on its grocery stores and a department store concept going forward.
Consumers shop at the Amazon Fresh supermarket in London, UK, on March 4, 2021. Store will be maintained, unlike other physical operations, such as 4 stars and bookstores — Photo: REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
End of a series of attempts
After opening its first bookstore in 2015, Amazon tested a range of retail ideas: cashierless convenience stores, supermarkets and a so-called “4-star” format where it sells toys. , household items and other goods with high customer ratings.
The news, initially reported by Reuters, marks a turning point for the company that started as an online bookstore and helped push established rivals such as Borders out of business.
The company created by Jeff Bezos aimed to reach shoppers in more places and bring their online touch to the real world. Bookstores pulled data from their vast collections and showed what people were reading, even the reviews they left on Amazon’s website.
But the innovations were not enough to stop the march towards online shopping that Amazon itself had unleashed.