Amazon To Close 68 Physical Retail Locations Including Book Stores & 4-Star Stores
In a surprising announcement this week, Amazon has confirmed that they will be closing 68 retail locations nationwide. The closures will consist of all Amazon Books stores, as well as the Amazon 4-Star stores and its pop-up stores.
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Amazon is not turning its back completely on bricks and mortar business but instead appears to be going through a change in focus when it comes to their physical store strategy. They will continue to focus on their Amazon Go cashierless stores, as well as their newly announced Amazon Style apparel stores. They are also preparing to focus more on their Amazon Fresh business as well as the expansion of Whole Foods.
“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,”Betsy Harden, Amazon Spokesperson
Amazon also said that closure dates for the impacted stores will vary dependent on location. Customers will be made aware of those dates through in-store signs at the 4-Star store and books locations.
Will Amazon Double Down On Physical Retail?
This leads the way for Amazon to truly double down on their physical retail strategy as last year it was announced how Amazon was planning to open department store sized stores in the future. By closing down the smaller nice stores across the country it opens the door for Amazon to instead utilize a larger store for a more ‘everything under one roof’ feel.
According to their latest annual filing, as of December 31, 2021, Amazon had 672 physical stores in North America, which includes all of the Whole Foods grocery stores across the country. Closing 68 physical stores will not impact the company in a meaningful way which adds further fuel to the fire that this is a long term strategic decision. Physical retail currently makes up just 3% of Amazon’s business which would imply Amazon sees plenty of growth potential in the physical retail space.
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Dave is a Co-Founder of eSeller365. For over 10 years he has been involved with eCommerce with a particular interest in the marketplaces and the huge opportunities available for sellers when utilizing a multi-channel strategy. After a year of being the UK’s youngest eCommerce consultant, he built an education platform called UnderstandingE that showed the world how to utilize Magento as the “Third Generation of Multi-Channel software”.
Dave has also created a YouTube channel dedicated to entrepreneurship and eCommerce as well as a podcast dedicated to mental health awareness. When Dave isn’t working his main interests include learning and playing Chess, researching the Crypto and NFT space, and trying to find the nearest beach.