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Amazon Closing Brick-and-Mortar Clothiers

Move represents another step back from non-grocery physical stores

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Photography: Courtesy of Amazon

Amazon (Seattle) is closing its two brick-and-mortar Amazon Style stores to focus more on its online fashion operation, the company said in an email to Retail Dive.

Both stores will close by Nov. 9, and Amazon is working with affected employees to find them other roles within the company. The stores are in The Americana at Brand Mall in Glendale, Calif., and the Easton Town Center in Columbus, Ohio.

The closures follow Amazon’s shuttering of all its stand-alone bookstores and other non-grocery stores last year. In its message to RD, the e-commerce giant said that physical retail remains important to it, noting its grocery expansion.

“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,” said Amazon Spokesperson Kristen Kish. “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 Style locations featured technology that provided customers with suggestions based on their preferences, which promised to differentiate it from traditional clothing retailers. However, critics found Amazon Style confusing or lacking in appeal to apparel shoppers.

The tech is “an over-engineered solution in search of a problem,” GlobalData Managing Director Neil Saunders wrote in emailed comments to RD. Saunders added that the stores suffered because they lacked a point of view despite having well-designed interiors and selling strong brands.

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In its email, Amazon noted that it continues expanding its fashion and beauty assortment online, recently taking such steps as introducing Coach and D’Amelio Footwear, as well as an extended collaboration with Victoria’s Secret.

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