Amazon is reworking its retail strategy and planning to close all 68 locations nationwide of its physical bookstores and "4-Star" shops that highlight popular items. The plan was first reported Wednesday by Reuters.
“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,” the company said Wednesday in an emailed 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."
Amazon has not disclosed how many employees will be laid off from the closures or the dates for shutting the stores. Amazon opened its first physical book store in 2015 in its hometown Seattle.
Of late, it has been opening new retail uses outside of book shops, such as Fresh grocery and Go convenience stores. There are nine Amazon Go cashier-less convenience store locations in Manhattan, including a recently opened one that partnered with Starbucks to provide to-go coffee orders.