Get all your news in one place
100’s of premium titles. One news app. Zero ads. Just $10 per month.

Amazon to close all its bookstores in US and UK

An Amazon Books store at the Westfield Garden State Plaza shopping centre in Paramus, New Jersey (Ted Shaffrey/AP)

Amazon has confirmed it is closing all of its bookstores as well as its 4-star shops and pop-up locations as the online behemoth reworks its physical footprint.

The Seattle-based company said that the move, which affects 66 stores in the US and two in the UK, enables it to concentrate its efforts on Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market, its convenience concept called Amazon Go and its upcoming Amazon Style stores.

Amazon Style, which will sell fashion and accessories, is set to open in a southern California shopping centre later this year.

The store closures will also allow it to focus on expanding its physical retail technology, the company said.

“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,” the company said in a statement.

They were designed for people to pop in and browse rather than as destinations where people would head on a mission to buy somethingNeil Saunders, GlobalData Retail

Amazon opened its first brick-and-mortar bookstore in 2015, two decades after it began selling books online and helped drive a number of shops out of business.

Amazon’s 4-star shops, which first debuted in 2018, carry a limited selection of best-selling products from top categories that Amazon.com sells including devices, consumer electronics, toys and games.

The move comes as Amazon.com’s overall revenue growth is slowing and it is looking for new ways to reignite sales.

But Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, said the strategy comes as a surprise and is an acknowledgement that the bookstores were not delivering the returns Amazon was looking for.

Mr Saunders did note that the main problem with Amazon’s non-food stores is that they lacked a real purpose even though the merchandise was well-presented.

“They were designed for people to pop in and browse rather than as destinations where people would head on a mission to buy something,” he wrote.

“Ultimately, this wasn’t great for driving footfall – especially in an era where people are visiting shops less.”

Mr Saunders added that the other problem is the assortment which, in many locations, was disjoined and unfocused.

The news was first reported by Reuters.

Related Stories
Amazon closing all of its bookstores stores in UK and US
Online giant will instead focus on other aspects of its business
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Amazon closings its bookstores, 4-star shops and pop-ups in the US, UK
Amazon has a bookstore in Lake View, 4-star shops in Oak Brook and Skokie, and a pop-up in Skokie.
Amazon Abruptly Closes Its Bookstores: What Does It Mean For Its Retail Plans?
Amazon announced that it is closing 68 retail stores, which are comprised of Amazon Books, Amazon 4 Star and Amazon…
Amazon Shuts 68 Physical Stores: All You Need To Know
Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN) looks to shut down its Amazon Books physical bookstores, Amazon 4-star and Amazon Pop Up shops, 
Amazon To Shut 68 Physical Stores, Trading Books For Groceries And Apparel
Amazon began as an online bookstore, but now it’s shutting its brick-and-mortar bookstores to focus more closely on groceries and…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Amazon closing scores of shops in retail strategy shift
San Francisco (AFP) - E-commerce titan Amazon on Wednesday confirmed plans to close its bricks-and-mortar bookstores and pop-up shops in…