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Amazon to shutter bookstores, pop-ups, and home goods shops

One analyst says the company’s new leader is discovering that retail is hard

AmazonBooks store
Photo credit: SounderBruce - Wikimedia Commons
Amazon is saying goodbye to its 68 physical bookstores, pop-up shops, and home goods stores and putting all its brick-and-mortar eggs into its grocery and fashion baskets. 

The news, first reported by Reuters, is somewhat of an ironic move given Amazon’s beginning as a bookseller. But as Borders, Barnes & Noble, and other booksellers have found out, that market has almost completely shifted online.

Amazon said it would focus its physical presence on grocery stores and a department store concept that it’s working on going forward.

The right move to make

Michael Pachter, a Wedbush Securities analyst, told Reuters that this was a smart move on Amazon’s part. He believes Amazon and physical bookstores were as bad a match as electric car maker Tesla opening gas stations.

Pachter said Amazon's new chief executive, Andy Jassy, probably made this call as he reviewed the retailer's various businesses. "Retail is hard, and they're discovering that," he said.

Reuters reports that Amazon hasn’t issued a firm timeline on when its 4-star, pop-up, and bookstore locations will close their doors, but the company plans to notify customers via signage at the various locations. Workers will reportedly be given a choice between severance pay or receiving help finding jobs at any nearby company stores like the Amazon Fresh grocery locations it announced last year.

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