Amazon Closing 68 Physical Retail Locations, including Amazon Books

Amazon Closing 68 Physical Retail Locations, including Amazon Books

Amazon began its life as an online bookseller and launched its first physical bookstore in Seattle back in 2015. Amazon then expanded its brick-and-mortar footprint to include more locations across the U.S. and abroad, including in U.S. states like Arizona, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York Tennessee, Texas...etc and, of course, its home state of Washington.

In the recent years, Amazon’s retail footprint expanded when it acquired Whole Foods in 2017 for $13.7 billion, plus its own Amazon Fresh grocery stores. Amazon is also testing its Just Walk Out cashier-less shopping technology at a growing number of Amazon Go convenience stores. These Amazon Go store aren't part of this planned shutdown.

Amazon’s physical retail business is suffering a major blow, as reported by Reuters;  it will close 68 brick-and-mortar retail stores across the U.S. and U.K. This includes Amazon Books bookstores, pop-up shops in and its 4-star stores.

The exit decision from its brick-and-mortar business follows a couple of years that have made in-person retail more challenging for everyone, especially as the COVID pandemic sent more consumers online, leading to decline in foot traffic to local stores. But this decision also comes at a time when Amazon retail workers had begun to organize — though in this case, at an Amazon Fresh grocery.

Amazon retail workers seem to believe that the company doesn’t value its physical retail business. Amazon, however, said it will continue to work on its cashier-less grocery stores and other new concepts, like the recently opened physical clothing store in LA called Amazon Style. 

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