According to GeekWire, Amazon will close two cashierless Go locations in New York City, two in Seattle, and four in San Francisco on April 1st.
The e-commerce behemoth made the statement on the same day it revealed it is halting building of its second headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, as it reassesses its office requirements in the face of an increasing number of individuals wanting to work remotely.
As Bloomberg points out, these are just the latest cost-cutting steps by Amazon as sales growth slows. The business increased its projected job losses from 10,000 to 18,000 in January, with the layoffs since then primarily affecting employees in its retail and recruiting units.
In a statement, company spokesperson Jessica Martin told the media: “We, like any other physical retailer, evaluate our store portfolio on a regular basis and make optimization decisions along the way. We remain dedicated to the Amazon Go format, run more than 20 Amazon Go locations around the United States, and will continue to learn which locations and services consumers prefer.”
The internet retailer’s Go stores were supposed to be high-tech stores outfitted with cameras and sensors that detect when things are removed and returned to shelves. Consumers can take any item they like, add it to their virtual cart for online payment, and walk out of the store without having to pass by a cashier.
While Amazon still operates over 20 Go stores in the country, the company has long struggled to dominate the physical retail industry and has changed its approach on a regular basis.
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It used to have 87 retail pop-up kiosks across the United States, but they were closed down before the pandemic hit. In 2022, Amazon will close all 68 of its physical bookstores, pop-up sites, and 4-star shops in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Nonetheless, CEO Andy Jassy recently stated that the company intends to invest heavily in its brick-and-mortar grocery store sector. “We’re hopeful that in 2023, we’ll have a format that we want to go big on, on the physical side,” he told the Financial Times.
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