Amazon is closing all bookstores, pop-up locations, and “4-star” locations

Amazon is closing all bookstores, pop-up locations, and “4-star” locations

Amazon is an online store first and foremost, but the company has attempted a few experiments with physical retail locations over the years. However, Amazon confirmed on Wednesday that most of those experiments are coming to an end, as the company aims to close all 68 of its physical stores in the United States and United Kingdom

Amazon told Reuters that the closed stores include all Amazon 4-star stores (a generic electronics store that sold items with 4-star ratings or higher), Amazon Books locations, and other pop-up locations. Amazon also owns Whole Foods Market, a chain of supermarkets in the United States and United Kingdom, but those stores are unaffected. Amazon declined to say how many workers are at those stores, but the company said it would offer severance payments, or the option to transfer to nearby Amazon stores and facilities, if some exist.

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It’s not exactly clear why Amazon is closing the stores now, besides that they likely didn’t make as much money as the company had hoped. Amazon became one of the richest companies on the planet through online sales, displacing competitors (such as Sears department stores and Borders book stores) in the process, so expanding into physical locations was always more of a novelty than anything else. CNBC reports that all of Amazon’s physical stores, including Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh locations, had lower sales in 2021 than 2018.

Amazon announced last month that the price for Amazon Prime subscriptions was increasing, starting on February 18 for new customers and March 25 for existing subscribers. The cost jumped from $119/year to $139/yr, and for people who pay monthly, from $12.99/month to $14.199/mo. Amazon said that the price increase was due to “the continued expansion of Prime member benefits as well as the rise in wages and transportation costs.”

Source: Reuters, CNBC
Via: Engadget

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Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer. Check out what he's up to at corbin.io.

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