Amazon is permanently closing eight of its cashierless Amazon Go convenience stores in Seattle, San Francisco and New York. The eight stores will remain open until April 1, a spokesperson for the company told TechCrunch. The closures mark Amazon’s latest move to rein in some of its brick-and-mortar retail operations. The news was first reported by GeekWire.
“Like any physical retailer, we periodically assess our portfolio of stores and make optimization decisions along the way,” a spokesperson for the company told TechCrunch in an email. “In this case, we’ve decided to close a small number of Amazon Go stores in Seattle, New York City, and San Francisco. We remain committed to the Amazon Go format, operate more than 20 Amazon Go stores across the U.S., and will continue to learn which locations and features resonate most with customers as we keep evolving our Amazon Go stores.”
The company debuted its first cashierless location near its headquarters in Seattle in 2016. Amazon says that it continues to grow Amazon Go stores, noting that it recently opened a new location in Puyallup, Washington.
The latest closures come a year after the company announced that it would close 68 brick-and-mortar retail stores across the U.S. and U.K. This included its Amazon Books bookstores, its pop-up shops in various markets and its 4-star stores, where customers could shop popular and highly rated products across Amazon.com. At the time, Amazon said it would continue to work on its cashierless grocery stores and other new concepts.
The company has been tightening its retail prospects in other ways as well. Last month, Bloomberg reported that Amazon paused an expansion of its line of Amazon Fresh Grocery stores in order to evaluate how to make the stores stand out and compete with mainstream supermarkets.
Amazon is among numerous other companies that have been hit by economic uncertainty and have moved to rein in costs. The company paused construction on its HQ2 in Virginia last week, and laid off 18,000 employees earlier this year.