Amazon will close 87 pop-up retail stores in malls, Whole Foods locations and Kohl’s stores across 21 U.S. states, a sign that the tech giant is still refining its physical retail vision.
The closures, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, and confirmed by Amazon, could happen by the end of April. The years-long experiment focused on showcasing Amazon devices like the Echo and Kindle in small formats often in the middle of a mall or larger store. Amazon has a pair of pop-up stores in Washington state, according to its physical retail directory.
In a statement, Amazon said “after much review” it decided to discontinue its pop-up stores and the focus going forward will shift to “expanding Amazon Books and Amazon 4-star, where we provide a more comprehensive customer experience and broader selection.”
Here is the full statement from Amazon:
Across our Amazon network, we regularly evaluate our businesses to ensure we’re making thoughtful decisions around how we can best serve our customers. After much review, we came to the decision to discontinue our pop-up kiosk program, and are instead expanding Amazon Books and Amazon 4-star, where we provide a more comprehensive customer experience and broader selection. We look forward to opening additional locations of both stores this year. We are excited to introduce even more customers to these in store shopping experiences where they can discover highly rated books, toys, games, home and kitchen goods, electronics, Amazon devices and more.
In 2016, reports popped up that Amazon planned to open roughly 100 of these stores, and the company got pretty close. The pop-ups are part of an expanding brick and mortar portfolio that includes Amazon Books, Amazon Go, AmazonFresh grocery pickup locations and Amazon 4-star stores for items rated highly on Amazon.
As Amazon winds down the pop-up experiment, it is expanding these other retail concepts. The company just opened its third Amazon Go store in San Francisco, and the 11th overall.
Recent reports suggest the company is set to embark on a major grocery expansion. And at the same time, construction actively suddenly restarted at a vacant retail site in Seattle that has long been linked to Amazon.