In a strategic shift, Amazon has confirmed the closure of its two Amazon Style brick-and-mortar apparel stores located in Columbus, Ohio, and Glendale, California. This decision comes nearly a year and a half after the company’s initial foray into physical retail with the Style concept.
The Amazon Style stores, which debuted in January 2022 and opened their doors to the public in May 2022, marked Amazon’s entry into the world of offline fashion retail, offering clothing, shoes, and accessories. However, the venture has had mixed results.
Amazon spokesperson Kristen Kish provided insights into the company’s decision, stating, “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 selections at great value and introducing innovative technology to meet the needs of every customer.”
While the closure of the Amazon Style stores reflects a pivot in Amazon’s physical retail strategy, the company remains committed to its broader physical presence, particularly in the grocery sector. Kish emphasized that “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.”
This decision aligns with Amazon’s previous steps to streamline its physical retail operations, including the closure of various retail chains, such as Amazon Books, 4-star, and Pop Up stores in March last year. These measures aimed to reduce costs and optimize the company’s physical footprint. Amazon also temporarily halted the expansion of Amazon Go cashierless stores and Fresh supermarkets.
While the Amazon Style store closures are part of a strategic realignment, the company continues to open new stores and enhance its Fresh grocery chain. Recently, Amazon introduced two redesigned Fresh stores in Chicago, demonstrating its commitment to evolving and improving its physical retail offerings.
In light of these changes, Amazon is working closely with the employees affected by the Style store closures. The company offers them the option to transition to other roles within the organization, and those who choose not to remain with Amazon will be provided with severance packages.
As Amazon fine-tunes its approach to physical retail, the company’s focus remains on delivering value and innovation through its online fashion shopping experience while maintaining a strong presence in the grocery sector.