Amazon has announced intentions to close all 68 of its brick-and-mortar bookshops, 4-Star locations, and pop-up sites in the United States and the United Kingdom, according to Reuters. However, Amazon will continue to run Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market, and its high-tech Amazon Go shops, which allow you to choose your things and depart without having to wait in line. According to the New York Times, the business will also proceed with plans to launch its first Amazon Style clothes store in Los Angeles later this year.
Amazon has declined to reveal how many positions will be lost, but stated that it will assist employees in finding new employment or give them with a severance payout.
In 2015, Amazon created its first physical bookshop, stocking the shelves with books that were selling well on its online marketplace. It had 24 bookshops in more than 12 states as of last year.
While Amazon isn’t abandoning its retail store operations entirely, its choice to shift away from some industries shouldn’t come as a surprise. As Reuters pointed out, income from Amazon’s physical stores accounted for only 3% of its $137 billion in sales during the most recent reported quarter, with the majority of it coming from its Whole Foods subsidiary.