Amazon will close all 87 of its pop-up stores in the U.S., including those nestled inside Whole Foods, by the end of April, The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.
These small Amazon-branded pop-up stores were typically a few hundred square feet and served as a way to sell Amazon products like Kindles, Echos and Fire devices directly to consumers in a physical retail environment. Amazon launched the first pop-up in Whole Foods in November of 2017.
Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, has this philosophy of asking “why?” five times to get to the root of a problem, but you probably don’t need that many to figure out why Amazon made this decision. While the company is shuttering these small pop-ups, it is massively ramping up other physical retail efforts.
In addition to the existing Amazon Book Stores, which have been around for a number of years, the company opened up its first 4-Star Store at the end of last year. Amazon is hiring like crazy to build out up to 3,000 Amazon Go convenience stores, some of which will reportedly be small enough to fit inside office buildings and airports (like a cashierless permanent pop-up!). Plus there’s that whole chain of Amazon grocery stores that could be on the way.
For Amazon, all that dedicated brick and mortar can deliver a better (and presumably more profitable) shopping experience than a sparse pop-up could.