Image Source: The Star
Amazon is shutting 68 of its physical stores, which include bookshops, 4-star shops, and Pop-Up store locations, among other things. The tech behemoth announced the retail closings on Wednesday, noting that closure dates may vary depending on where the stores are located. Stores will be marked with signage informing customers of the planned closures.
Reuters initially reported the closings, which was the first news organization. As reported by USA TODAY, the firm stated in a statement that it had chosen to shutter its Amazon 4-star, Books, and Pop-Up shops to “concentrate our efforts” on its Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market, Amazon Go, and Amazon Style stores as well as its “Just Walk Out technology.” Amazon said in January that it would build its first physical clothes shop, named “Amazon Style,” in the state of California.
Earlier this week, Amazon said that it was “dedicated to developing exceptional, long-term physical retail experiences and technologies” and added that it was “working together with our impacted workers to assist them in finding other jobs within the Amazon organization.”
According to Neil Saunders, managing director of research company GlobalData, the news that Amazon was shutting shops came as a surprise since a couple of the sites had just recently launched. The statement from Saunders said that “although it is rare for most merchants to abandon ideas in a wholesale sense – particularly outside of bankruptcy – Amazon is not your normal store.” ‘It experiments with and tests new ideas, often devoting acceptable amounts of money, only to abandon them if it does not perceive any future promise.’
Amazon recently increased the price of its Prime membership for new users, which took effect on February 18. For existing Prime members, the increased fee will be effective on the date of their next renewal after March 25, regardless of when they joined.