Amazon shuts down brick-and-mortar bookstores

The e-commerce giant is still investing in physical storefronts but focusing on fashion and groceries.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Amazon 4-star stores are closing, the company said on March 2, 2022.


Amazon is closing dozens of brick-and-mortar storefronts across the US, the retail giant confirmed to ZDNet on Wednesday. That includes all of its bookstores, Amazon Pop Ups and "Amazon 4-star" shops, as first reported by Reuters

For several years, the e-commerce giant has experimented with physical storefronts and is shifting its focus to fashion and grocery stores. The company said it's still investing in Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market, Amazon Go and its Amazon Style stores, as well as its "Just Walk Out" cashierless checkout technology. 

"We remain committed to building great, long-term physical retail experiences and technologies," an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement emailed to ZDNet

Amazon opened its first physical bookstore in 2015. In 2018, it launched the Amazon 4-star stores, which only sold top-selling items on Amazon.com, as well as items rated four stars or above by Amazon's online buyers. Amazon Pop Ups, meanwhile, featured rotating brands and themes intended to give customers a "try-before-you-buy" experience.

Last month, Amazon reported that its physical stores brought in $4.688 billion in revenue for the quarter, up 16% year-over-year. 

While it's closing more than 60 storefronts, Amazon continues to open new ones in other categories. The company recently announced the launch of Amazon Style; a retail store focused on fashion. The first location will open to the public later this year in LA and include technology in the shopper experience. It's also moving its Amazon Go convenience store concept to the suburbs

As it closes storefronts, Amazon said it will work with affected employees to identify new roles for them or give them severance. Closure dates will vary by location.

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