Amazon said Wednesday that it will shut down all its pop-up shops and focus on opening more of its bookstores as it rethinks its brick-and-mortar strategy. The online retail giant has 87 pop-up shops in malls, Whole Foods grocery stores and Kohl’s department stores that sell Amazon’s Echo voice-activated devices, Kindle tablets and other gadgets.
Amazon did not say when the pop-up shops would shut down, but the Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous sources, reported that they will shutter at the end of April. The news comes a day after Kohl’s said it was moving away from having Amazon shops in its stores and instead plans to sell Amazon gadgets in a designated section.
Amazon has been making a big push into brick-and-mortar stores, buying up the Whole Foods grocery chain, opening 19 bookstores and 10 cashier-less convenience stores around the country. But sales at its physical stores slipped 3 percent in the last three months of 2018, compared with the same period the year before.
Besides opening more bookstores, Amazon said it also plans expand its 4-star stores beyond the three it has now. The 4-star stores, which it began to open last year, sell a mix of products including cookware and toys.
Earlier this week, Amazon had announced a way for brands to remove fake items from the site themselves, rather than reporting them to Amazon and then waiting for the company to do something. It is also using machine learning to automatically scan listings to remove suspected counterfeits and has created unique serial codes that can be placed on products during the manufacturing process, which can then be monitored by Amazon on its site.