Published On: Thu, Nov 2nd, 2023

Amazon to Ditch Clothing Stores for More Grocery Stores

Amazon to Ditch Clothing Stores for More Grocery Stores
Amazon to Ditch Clothing Stores for More Grocery Stores

Amazon will close its two physical clothing stores by next week, less than two years after it opened its first location in May 2022. The closures appear to reflect a shift in focus toward its grocery stores and add to Amazon’s 68 other brick-and-mortar store closures last year.

The retail giant opened its first Amazon Style store in Glendale, California, and opened its second location in Columbus, Ohio in October of last year. Amazon promoted its Style stores as a “personalized and convenient shopping experience” and promised it would create local jobs, all of which will be obliterated by the closures.

“After careful consideration, we’ve decided to close our two Amazon Style physical retail stores and focus on our online fashion shopping experience, where we’re offering new, exciting selection at great value and introducing innovative technology to meet the needs of every customer,” Amazon spokesperson Kristen Kish said in an emailed statement to Gizmodo.

Kish says that the company is working with the affected employees to redistribute them into other roles within Amazon, but did not elaborate on what those roles might be. If affected employees decide not to continue working for Amazon, they will receive severance pay and career transition services.

Amazon shuttered the majority of its physical stores last year from bookstores to mall pop-up kiosks and shops carrying toys and home goods. The e-commerce giant said in March 2022 that it would be focusing on its grocery stores while simultaneously moving toward opening its California retail clothing store.

Retail stores are, and will continue to be, an important facet of Amazon, Kish said. In the third quarter of 2023, physical store sales grew by 6% year-over-year but did not specify what percentage was strictly grocery sales. She added that by focusing on grocery store businesses including Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods, and Amazon Go, the company will allegedly make the lives of customers easier.

The store closures last year kicked off mass layoffs at Amazon in November 2021. The company reportedly planned to lay off about 10,000 employees, but by January 2022, that number had expanded to more than 18,000 workers. Amazon laid off another 9,000 corporate and tech workers between March and April of this year.

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