This Retail Chain is Closing Stores to Focus on Supermarkets
Amazon is already working to expand its footprint in the grocery world, and new reports say it is making major changes to continue by closing over 60 of its other retail stores.
In a recent email statement to The Seattle Times, Amazon says that its plan going forward is to "focus more on our Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market, Amazon Go and Amazon Style stores and our Just Walk Out technology". To do so, brick-and-mortar bookstores, "Amazon 4-Star" shops, and Amazon pop-up kiosks in malls will close down. (For more grocery store changes, here are 6 Things You'll See at Costco This Year.)
The first Amazon Bookstore opened up six years ago in Seattle, and this was the first time the company went physical in addition to its mega-popular online shop. There are now 24 of them, as well as nine mall kiosks. There were plans to add 16 of the "4-Star" stores to the 33 that are open, but The Seattle Times says the "decision to shutter the operation [by Amazon] was abrupt."
While that change was sudden, Amazon Fresh stores have been seeing major growth since the first one opened in September of 2020. Since then almost 30 are open for business, complete with Dash carts, Ask Alexa stations, and more—and a few more are on the way, too.
In addition to placing more resources towards Amazon Fresh, the company is also adding more of the same technologies to its other grocery chain, Whole Foods. Back in September 2021, the company announced that two locations would be getting the "Just Walk Out" technology, and this past week a revamped store in Washington D.C. opened with the option of leaving the store with your items but without checking out.
It isn't clear exactly when all the bookstores, "4-Star" shops, and kiosks will close, or if even more Amazon Fresh locations are in the works. But this isn't the only grocery store chain changing—America's Largest Grocery Chain Is Pulling This Item From Shelves Amid Backlash.