(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. is shuttering its physical clothing stores just 17 months after opening the first outlet, abandoning another brick-and-mortar retail format as the company sharpens its focus on grocery stores.
The two Amazon Style stores, located in Glendale, California, and Columbus, Ohio, will close by Nov. 9, Amazon told employees on Thursday.
“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 at great value and introducing innovative technology to meet the needs of every customer,” Amazon spokesperson Kristen Kish told Bloomberg News.
The e-commerce giant last year closed most of its Amazon-branded physical stores, including bookstores, a variety mart called Amazon 4-Star and mall pop-up kiosks. The shutterings were among the first in what became a year of product wind-downs and layoffs at the Seattle-based company.
Even as Amazon axed various other formats, it opted to proceed with the first Style location, which opened in May of 2022. The stores and the teams of corporate employees working on the format ultimately employed a few hundred people, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Kish said Amazon was working with affected personnel to identify other roles at the company and would offer severance to those who decline an internal transfer. She said physical retail remains important to the company, and Amazon is “continuing to invest in growing our grocery stores business.”
Tony Hoggett, the former Tesco Plc executive hired to lead Amazon’s physical retail stores, recently kicked off an effort to redesign Amazon’s Fresh-branded grocery stores and streamline the company’s online grocery franchises. The company plans to continue opening new supermarkets, Kish said. Revenue for Amazon’s physical stores segment — primarily from Whole Foods Market locations — rose 5.6% in the third quarter to $4.9 billion.
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