John Edeson Sayoc
End of an Era
As of Sunday, March 20, most of or all Amazon Books, Amazon 4-Star, and Pop Up shops will be closed down permanently. This means 68 stores that are located in the United States to the United Kingdom. There were 24 bookstores, over 30 other retail stores, and around 10 pop-up shops.
Amazon Books first opened in Seattle, Washington in 2015. In 2018, Amazon 4-Star first opened in SoHo, New York. Amazon Pop Up shops were first introduced in 2014 but closed over 80 of them in 2019. In 2020, Amazon Pop Up shops would make a return. Amazon Books was a physical store that primarily sold books, magazines, and other knick-knacks that can be found on the website. It was also a place where customers could easily pick up items bought online or return items as well. Amazon 4-Star was a physical retail store where you could find products such as electronics, toys, and games sold there that are rated 4 stars and above. Amazon Pop Up shops were used in malls and were kiosks that had devices like tablets in them. They were used by Amazon as a main attempt to bring an offline experience to its customers.
An Unfortunate Era of Shortcomings
While Amazon Books and Amazon 4-Star stores looked cool and had very helpful employees, the stores themselves were underperforming. This was apparent as they weren’t performing nearly as well as Amazon online shopping even with the pursuit of discounts from publishers.
What’s Next For Employees
It seems employees of these stores were notified beforehand and were given a choice. The options were to leave and receive a severance package from Amazon or to stay and maybe find another job within the Amazon company. It is not clear how many employees this affects and how many people chose one or the other.
A New Era
Although physical stores such as Amazon Books, Amazon 4-Star, and Amazon Pop Up shops closed down, Amazon is focusing on other physical stores. Instead, Amazon has announced that it would be focusing on Amazon Fresh, Amazon Go, and Whole Foods Market. Amazon Fresh is a grocery store that is filled with smart technology. By that, the cart scans each item added and people can automatically pay as they leave the store. There also is a food court with pizza and salad. Amazon Go is a smart convenience store that features the same technology as Amazon Fresh. Whole Foods Market is a grocery supermarket chain of over 40 years that was bought by Amazon in 2017. It looks like Amazon is set to revolutionize shopping altogether with technology.