Amazon Is Getting Rid of This Permanently
Your shopping experience with the company will be changing soon.
Amazon is no stranger to innovation: Over the years, the tech giant has ventured into a number of new concepts, from opening its cashier-less Amazon Go stores to acquiring Whole Foods. But Amazon is also no stranger to upsetting shoppers. In Sept. 2021, the company faced a flurry of backlash for adding a large new fee to its Whole Foods deliveries. Shortly thereafter, a complaint was lodged against Amazon for potentially misleading customers with paid advertisements. And the company's most recent decision to permanently get rid of one of its ventures might cause even more distress. Read on to find out what Amazon is putting on the chopping block.
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Amazon is getting rid of many of its physical stores.
If you like to do your Amazon shopping in person, you might be in for a rude awakening. The company confirmed to Reuters on March 2 that it is planning to permanently close all of its physical bookstores, pop-up shops, and "4-star" stores in both the U.S. and the U.K. According to the news outlet, this set of closures will end up affecting 68 stores.
A spokesperson for Amazon told Insider that the closing dates of these stores will vary by location and employees at these stores who choose not to work for Amazon in another capacity will be given severance. "We're working closely with our affected employees to help them find new roles within Amazon," the spokesperson said.
Some of these Amazon stores have been open for nearly a decade.
Amazon's decision to close these stores will effectively end some of its "longest-running experiments in brick-and-mortar retail," according to Reuters. The company has had some of these physical retail locations open for nearly a decade.
The first Amazon Books, the company's chain of retail bookstores, opened Nov. 2015 in Seattle, Washington, per The Seattle Times. The company never announced the initial launch of its pop-up shops, but according to Insider, the origins of these stores go back at least as far as 2013. And Amazon introduced its 4-star store venture in Sept. 2018, with the first store being launched in New York City.
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The company will still have physical retail spaces after these closures.
This isn't goodbye to all of Amazon's retail spaces, however. The company told Reuters that it still believes that physical retail remains an important way for it to reach shoppers and it will continue to focus its efforts on other brands, as well as work on new concepts.
"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 stores and our Just Walk Out technology," an Amazon spokesperson told Insider. "We remain committed to building great, long-term physical retail experiences and technologies."
Amazon just announced a new store concept this year.
Amazon's expansion into new retail spaces is already underway for 2022. The company announced on Jan. 20 that it is introducing a new brick-and-mortar concept called Amazon Style, USA Today reported at the time. Simoina Vasen, Amazon Style's managing director, told the news outlet that the first of these in-person apparel stores is set to open "later this year" in The Americana at Brand, a Los Angeles shopping complex.
The store will sell both women and men's clothes, as well as shoes and accessories. "We believe our unique store design, our advanced technology and thoughtful curation will make it easier than ever for customers to have an inspiring, convenient, enjoyable and ultimately successful shopping experience," Vasen told USA Today.
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