On Wednesday, Amazon announced that it will be closing all of its brick-and-mortar bookstores, as well as its 4-star shops and pop-up locations.
The company said that the move will affect 66 stores in the United States and two in the United Kingdom. The move will enable the company to focus its efforts on Whole Foods Market, Amazon Fresh, Amazon Go, and its upcoming Amazon Style stores. Amazon Style will sell fashion and accessories and is set to open in a Southern California mall late this year.
Amazon Style will sell women’s and men’s clothing as well as shoes and other accessories and will open at the Americana at Brand mall in Glendale. Shoppers will get the opportunity to get personalized recommendations pushed to their phone as they browse the new Amazon Style store, which will be stocked with mostly non-Amazon fashion labels, the company said.
“We remain committed to building great, long-term physical retail experiences and technologies and we’re working closely without affected employees to help them find new roles within Amazon,” the company said in a statement.
It has not been released how many Amazon employees are being affected by this.
In 2015, Amazon opened its first brick-and-mortar bookstore, which was two decades after it began selling books online and helped drive many traditional book shops out of business. In 2018, Amazon 4-start ships made their debut and carries a limited selection of best-selling products from top categories that Amazon.com sells, which includes toys, games, and consumer electronics.
As Amazon.com Inc’s overall revenue growth is slowing as a result of supply-chain snags and labor shortages, the company is looking for new ways to reignite those sales.
Amazon will also be raising its annual membership fee in the United States to $139 per year from the previous $119. This will be the company’s first price hike for the Prime membership since 2018.