Amazon to close apparel stores in latest physical retail strategy shift

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At 30,000 square feet, Amazon Style is smaller than traditional department stores, but offers “more than double the number of styles,” according to a press release.

Amazon is shuttering its brick-and-mortar apparel stores almost a year and a half after opening the first location, the company confirmed, marking the latest shift in its physical retail strategy.

The company said it will close its two Amazon Style stores in Columbus, Ohio, and Glendale, California, by Nov. 9.

“After careful consideration, we’ve decided to close our two Amazon Style physical retail stores and focus on our online fashion shopping experience, where we’re offering new, exciting selection[s] at great value and introducing innovative technology to meet the needs of every customer,” Amazon spokesperson Kristen Kish said in a statement. “Physical retail remains an important part of our business, and we’re continuing to invest in growing our grocery stores business, which spans Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market, Amazon Go, and third-party partnerships.”

Amazon launched the concept in January 2022 before opening the Glendale store to the public in May 2022. It represented the company’s first foray into hawking clothes, shoes and accessories in the offline world, and its latest attempt at cracking physical retail.

That effort has been met with mixed success. The company last March shuttered several retail chains, including its line of Amazon Books, 4-star and Pop Up stores, as part of a broader move to cut costs and rein in its physical footprint. Amazon also shed some warehouse space, axed several unproven bets and laid off about 27,000 employees. The company also temporarily hit pause on further expansion of its Amazon Go cashierless marts and Fresh supermarkets.

Kish said Amazon will continue to open new stores and revamp its Fresh grocery chain, with two redesigned stores recently opening in Chicago.

Amazon is working closely with employees affected by the Style store closures, Kish said. It will give them the choice to move to other roles at the company, and employees who choose not to stay with Amazon will be offered severance.

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