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Amazon shuttering its physical bookstores and four-star shops

NEW YORK (AP) – Amazon is closing all of its brick-and-mortar bookstores, as well as its four-star shops and pop up locations, as the online retail behemoth reworks its physical footprint.

The Seattle-based company said on Wednesday that the move, which affects 66 stores in the United States (US) and two in the United Kingdom (UK), will enable it to concentrate its efforts on Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market, its convenience concept called Amazon Go and its upcoming Amazon Style stores. Amazon Style, which will sell fashion and accessories, is set to open in a Southern California mall later this year.

“We remain committed to building great, long-term physical retail experiences and technologies and we’re working closely with our affected employees to help them find new roles within Amazon,” the company said in a statement.

It couldn’t be learnt immediately how many Amazon workers are being affected.

The move comes as Inc’s overall revenue growth is slowing, and it’s looking for new ways to reignite sales.

Managing Director of GlobalData Retail Neil Saunders, said the strategy comes as a surprise. He said he believes it’s an acknowledgement that the bookstores weren’t delivering the returns Amazon was looking for.

People walk by an Amazon Books store at the Westfield Garden State Plaza shopping mall in Paramus, New Jersey. PHOTO: AP

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