Welp, say goodbye to Amazon Books.
We’ve seen a lot of different physical stores from the online giant appear over the last few years, and after testing different concepts, Amazon is reprioritizing how they operate in the brick-and-mortar space.
And that means some of the biggest physical Amazon stores yet are coming.
Amazon is closing all 68 Amazon Books locations as of March 19, 2022.
Amazon is closing all of the Amazon Books, Amazon 4-Star and pop-up locations in the US and UK on Saturday, March 19. These locations sold books and various top-rated Amazon products, but turned out to be a mismatch for the online retailer.
There aren’t going to be any closing sales for these stores, according to an Amazon Books associate; instead, everything will be shipped back to the regional warehouses to rejoin the online inventory.
Employees will get severance or assistance finding jobs at other company stores.
Instead, Amazon is getting ready to open department stores this year.
When Amazon opened bookstores, they were putting their own spin on the kinds of stores they put out of business. They’re looking to do it again by opening department stores.
The first “Amazon Style” department store will open in Glendale, Calif. later this year, promising a “personalized” shopping experience where customers can send items to a touchscreen-enabled fitting room. Amazon Style will offer lots of Amazon private-label brands for sale, as well as top retail brands. (Ohio’s new store isn’t far behind.)
In addition to selling Alexa devices, Fire tablets, and Amazon Basics household items, expect to see high-end fashion brands and cosmetics; Amazon wants to increase their sales of these kinds of products.
Amazon Style stores will be about the size of a Kohl’s.
Although Amazon Style stores will be the retailer’s biggest physical stores ever, they’ll be smaller than the average department store.
The new retail concept will take up about 30,000 square feet, the size of a typical Kohl’s store.
Amazon knows Kohl’s stores well; Kohl’s has been receiving Amazon returns since 2019, and the partnership brought 2 million more customers to Kohl’s.
Amazon is also doubling-down on grocery stores.
In addition to piloting the Amazon Style format, Amazon said they’re focusing on developing and growing their grocery stores, which include:
- Whole Foods Market: 527 stores
- Amazon Go cashierless convenience stores: 32 stores in 5 metro areas
- Amazon Fresh: 23 stores in the U.S.
Look out for Amazon pharmacies, too.
Amazon has been dabbling in healthcare lately. They purchased prescription delivery service PillPack, and launched Amazon Pharmacy in 2020.
Multiple sources told Business Insider that Amazon is considering physical pharmacies, either as standalone buildings or tucked inside Whole Foods stores.
According to the report, if pharmacies happen, they’re more than a year away.