Amazon is shutting all of its physical bookstores, including Amazon Books, Amazon 4-star, and Amazon Pop Up, which sells a variety of electronics and other trendy things.
According to Amazon, the closures will affect 68 stores across the United States and the United Kingdom. The dates of the closures will vary by area, and Amazon has stated that it will assist affected employees in finding other jobs inside the company. Workers who do not choose to continue will be provided severance compensation, according to the statement.
Amazon would not indicate how many employees would be laid off as a result of the layoffs. Reuters was the first to report on the store closures.
Amazon has increasingly introduced a variety of physical locations, ranging from supermarkets to retail stores selling branded electronics such as Fire tablets and Echo smart speakers. The 4-star stores, in particular, aimed to integrate Amazon’s in-store and offline operations by displaying top-selling items on its website.
However, the physical stores unit’s sales growth has fallen behind the company’s entire retail operation. Sales at physical establishments, such as Whole Foods and Fresh, were lower in 2021 than they were in 2018.
After seeing its weakest growth rate since 2001, Amazon is reducing its physical retail footprint. The stock has lost more than 8% this year, and it was the poorest performer in the Big Tech sector last year.
An Amazon spokeswoman stated the business “remains committed” to developing long-term physical retail concepts and technology, noting the company’s recently launched Style shops as an example. The firm also stated that it would continue to focus on its supermarket chains Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market, as well as Amazon Go convenience stores and the Just Walk Out cashier-less technology.
Other experimental retail technologies introduced by Amazon include Amazon One, which allows customers to pay for things by scanning the palm of their hands, and Dash Carts, a shopping cart equipped with sensors that allow shoppers to check out without a cashier.
Dilip Kumar, a former “shadow” of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, is currently in charge of the physical retail division.