Amazon to Close 8 Go Convenience Stores
Amazon.com announced late last week that it plans to close eight of its Go convenience stores, a decision that coincides with a pullback in its physical footprint and a broader effort to cut costs. The company will shut two Go stores in New York City, two locations in Seattle, and four stores in San Francisco. The stores will close on April 1, and Amazon said it will work to help affected employees secure other roles at the company. Amazon executives previously confirmed the company would close some Fresh supermarkets and Go stores following its fourth-quarter earnings results. The retailer is temporarily pausing expansion of the Fresh grocery chain.
Total Retail's Take: Amazon isn't immune to the challenges many other companies have experienced with their brick-and-mortar stores. Rising labor costs, decreased foot traffic, and declining sales at its Go convenience stores have made it necessary for Amazon to scale back on the format's number of locations. Opened to great fanfare due to its innovative payment approach, the Go stores seemed to attract early buzz and the traffic that comes with that. However, it appears that after the novelty wore off for many shoppers, so too did Go's business. Couple that with the fact that Amazon is in aggressive cost-cutting mode, including employee layoffs and warehouse closures, and it's not surprising that Go was next to be downsized. While the company isn't giving up on the Go format (it still has more than 20 Go stores across the country), this news is certainly not a vote of confidence.
Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.