SKOKIE, IL — Amazon plans to close all of its bookstores and other retail stores selling household goods, including its outposts at the Westfield Old Orchard mall, company officials said Wednesday.
The Seattle-based online retailer, cloud computing provider and media company has confirmed that it will close 68 Amazon Books, Amazon Pop-Up and Amazon 4-Star sites in the US and UK.
Stores will close on different dates and notify customers via signage, according to Reuters, which broke the news first. Amazon representatives did not specify the number of jobs cut, but said workers would be eligible for severance pay or help finding jobs at other company stores.
Amazon officials plan to focus on its other brick-and-mortar brands, including Whole Foods Market and Amazon Fresh grocery stores, Amazon Go convenience stores and clothing store projects called Amazon Style, according to The Associated Press.
“We remain committed to creating great, long-term physical retail experiences and technologies, and we’re working closely with our relevant employees to help them find new roles within Amazon,” said a door-to-door manager. word of society.
Amazon’s first brick-and-mortar bookstores opened in 2015, followed by a branch in Chicago in 2017. In 2018, it launched its 4-star concept, which offers a limited selection of best-selling household products.
Last year, Evanston’s bookstore Bookends & Beginnings filed a federal lawsuit against Amazon seeking class-action status and alleging the company engages in monopolistic practices involving anti-competitive “most favored nation” agreements with the editors.
Owner Nina Barrett told the Chicago-Sun Times that while the pandemic has been a boon for small independent bookstores, the end of the online retail giant’s Amazon Books experiment “obviously doesn’t take away step Amazon out of the playing field as a competitor to independent bookstores.”
In addition to Pop-Up and 4-Star locations in Old Orchard, Amazon has a bookstore on Chicago’s North Side and a 4-Star store in Oakbrook Center.