Amazon.com Inc. is shutting down three of its brick-and-mortar banners in order to focus on grocery, fashion and stores equipped with its Just Walk Out technology, which allows customers to bypass traditional checkout.
“We’ve decided to close our Amazon 4-star, Books, and Pop Up stores, and focus more on our Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market, Amazon Go, and Amazon Style stores and our Just Walk Out technology,” a spokesperson for the e-commerce giant said in a statement.
“We remain committed to building great, long-term physical retail experiences and technologies, and we’re working closely with our affected employees to help them find new roles within Amazon.”
store workers who choose to leave the company will receive severance.
There will be a total of 66 closures in the U.S. and two in the U.K. Final opening dates will vary by location.
While these stores are closing, the company is investing in other stores, including the Amazon Style store, coming to the Los Angeles area; a larger Amazon Go store in Washington state, which will incorporate Just Walk Out technology; and two additional Starbucks Pickup with Amazon Go. The first Starbucks
Pickup with Amazon Go opened in New York City in November 2021.
There will also be more than a dozen new Amazon Fresh stores in the U.S. and U.K.
Stores have taken on renewed significance in retail, becoming vital parts of the purchase fulfillment and customer service efforts of chains like Target Corp.
and many others.
Amazon stock is up 1.2% over the past year while the S&P 500 index
has gained nearly 15%.