Amazon grabbed headlines when it first launched a chain of convenience stores called Amazon Go in 2018. Known for being cashier-less, and thus partially automated, Amazon Go brought a whole new dimension to the convenience store space. The main feature of these stores was that they allowed customers to purchase anything they want without being checked by a cashier while going out. Instead, there was a self-checkout option.
Thanks to the convenience they offered to the customers, Amazon Go stores were very well received by the customers. As a result, several more convenience stores have opened after the first one. These stores are operating successfully even today. According to statistics, 29 Amazon Go stores are established in the U.S. and 15 stores are established in the U.K. as of February 2023.
However, despite the ongoing success of these stores, the retail giant has recently announced that it is closing 8 Amazon Go convenience stores in the United States.
Another Cost-Cutting Move?
Earlier this year, Amazon was in news along with other giants like Microsoft, Google, Facebook, etc. due to worldwide layoffs. The current recession across the world, coupled with its cost-cutting plans were termed as the prominent reasons behind the layoffs. The recent announcement is also being marked as the company’s latest cost-cutting move.
As per the announcement, the eight affected stores include two in New York City, two in Seattle, and four in San Francisco. The decision will take effect from 1st April and these stores will operate as usual till then. An email from the official Amazon spokesperson said that the company is periodically assessing its portfolio of stores and making optimization decisions along the way.
What’s ahead in Amazon Go?
Despite the closure, Amazon is still committed to the Amazon Go format. The email further stated that the company, in the future, will continue to discover locations and features that resonate with its customers. The commitment is reflected in the fact that Amazon opened its first suburban Go store in Mill Creek, Washington last year. Moreover, the company is opening its Go stores in Puyallup, Washington.
The affected employees are another concern. Generally, large companies tend not to associate themselves with laid-off employees for long. Amazon, however, is working with such employees. It is offering them other roles at the company. Amazon is also considering offering these employees a job at the other nearby Go stores.