Company News

Amazon to Close 8 Go Stores

Ecommerce giant still ‘committed to the Amazon Go format’
Photograph: Shutterstock

Amazon will permanently close eight of its high-tech Amazon Go convenience stores. The closings are the latest move by the tech giant to pull back on some of its brick-and-mortar retail operations.

“Like any physical retailer, we periodically assess our portfolio of stores and make optimization decisions along the way,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement, first reported by GeekWire.

The news comes a month after CFO Brian Olsavsky hinted during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call that closures might be coming.

“We recorded impairments of property and equipment and operating leases, primarily related to our Amazon Fresh and Amazon Go physical stores,” Olsavsky said Feb. 2. “We're continuously refining our store formats to find the ones that will resonate with customers, will build our grocery brand and will allow us to scale meaningfully over time. As such, we periodically access our portfolio of stores and decided to exit certain stores with low growth potential."

The closures will include two stores in Settle, two stores in New York City and four in San Francisco, Amazon said in its statement. The affected stores will continue to operate until April 1.

The closures do not mean an end to the Amazon Go store concept, however.

In its statement, Amazon said, “We remain committed to the Amazon Go format, operate more than 20 Amazon Go stores across the U.S., and will continue to learn which locations and features resonate most with customers as we keep evolving our Amazon Go stores.”

Currently, in the United States, Amazon’s physical stores include 535 Whole Foods Markets, 44 Amazon Fresh grocery stores, 28 Amazon Go c-stores and two Amazon Style apparel, footwear and accessories stores. The company opened the first Amazon Go cashierless convenience store using its “just walk out” technology in January 2018.

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