How Amazon Is Rethinking Its Brick-and-Mortar Strategy

Amazon is pulling the plug on its store experiment.

The e-commerce giant has announced that it is shutting down all 87 of its pop-up shops across the U.S. starting at the end of next month as it continues to re-evaluate its retail strategy.

The majority of the pop-ups appear as standalone kiosks in malls or inside supermarket chain Whole Foods and department store Kohl’s in more than 20 states, where customers can test out Amazon products including Fire tablets and Kindle e-readers, as well as services like Prime Video and Audible.

“Across our Amazon network, we regularly evaluate our businesses to ensure we’re making thoughtful decisions around how we can best serve our customers,” an Amazon spokesperson told FN. “After much review, we came to the decision to discontinue our pop-up kiosk program.”

Despite the closings, the company said that it is continuing to grow its brick-and-mortar presence through its bookstores and four-star stores, “where we provide a more comprehensive customer experience and broader selection.”

The latter, which opened in New York’s Soho neighborhood in September, offers products that have been rated four stars and higher as well as new and trending items on its website. It marked the first retail outlet of its kind for Amazon, which intends to open 3,000 cashierless AmazonGo convenience stores as it seeks to expand its physical footprint across the country. (It now has 11 locations in the country.)

The Seattle-based business continues to face competition from Walmart and other big-name stores as an increasing number of retailers are willing to bet on a mix of e-commerce and brick-and-mortar. The company was also recently dealt a blow upon announcing its withdrawal from plans to bring a second headquarters in New York.

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