Amazon has announced that it’s going to close eight Amazon Go stores, GeekWire has reported. These fancy checkout-less stores were initially trialled by Amazon employees in 2016 and opened to the public in 2018. The eight stores that are closing are located in Seattle, New York City, and San Francisco.
According to GeekWire, the two Seattle-based stores have been closed for a while already but the two stores in NYC and four stores in San Francisco will close on April 1. For customers who like these checkout-less stores, Amazon Go looks as though it’ll continue to be a thing, it’s just that Amazon doesn’t want to continue running these particular stores for whatever reason. Apparently, the Seattle stores are in the downtown area which is affected by crime and open-air drug use; this could have had an impact on Amazon’s decision.
Commenting on the closures, Amazon said:
“Like any physical retailer, we periodically assess our portfolio of stores and make optimization decisions along the way. 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.”
It’s difficult to tell but the decision to close these stores may have also had something to do with the state of the economy. In recent months, Amazon has had to tighten its operations so that its budgets make more sense to investors. Most notably, the company laid off a huge 18,000 employees in January.