High Street

Amazon to shutter all bookshops and 4-star stores

It comes as the retail giant sets its sights on its Amazon Fresh and Amazon Go stores, as well as Whole Foods and its LA-based clothing store

Amazon is set to shutter all 68 of its bookshops, 4-star stores and Amazon pop-ups across the US and UK in a bid to further concentrate on its growing grocery offering.

Closure dates of the bricks-and-mortar sites will reportedly vary by location and it is currently unknown how many roles will be at risk.

It comes as the retail giant sets its sights on its Amazon Fresh and Amazon Go stores, as well as Whole Foods and its LA-based clothing store. It will also look to focus on developing and selling its ‘Just Walk Out’ technology. 

A spokesperson told The Times: “We’ve decided to close our Amazon 4-star, Books and Pop Up stores, and focus more on our Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market, Amazon Go and Amazon Style stores, and our ‘Just Walk Out’ technology.

“We remain committed to building great, long-term physical retail experiences and technologies, and we’re working closely with our affected employees to help them find new roles within Amazon.”

Amazon opened its first UK 4-star store in only October of last year. The Bluewater site currently offers a range of curated products that have been rated four stars and above, are top sellers, or are trending on Amazon.co.uk. 

The retailer also opened its first UK grocery store in Ealing, London, one year ago. Selling prepared meals, groceries, and Amazon devices, the store relies on technology to guide the shopping experience, with shoppers’ purchases noted via ceiling cameras and shelf weight sensors.

A cashless store, consumers gain access to the property via a smartphone QR code, with their registered credit card then being billed as they leave the shop.

Retail Sector has reached out to Amazon for further comment. 

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