Like different Amazon Contemporary places within the UK and US, the outlets used the agency’s ‘Simply Stroll Out’ sensor expertise, which permits clients to select up objects and go away, with purchases billed to their Amazon accounts.
Whereas the closure of the primary UK retailer simply over two years after it opened feels totemic, Amazon Contemporary shops have unfold shortly throughout London and nonetheless take pleasure in a fairly robust presence.
Even with the three newest closures, the official website lists 17 outlets throughout the capital, together with central places in Southwark, Euston, Chancery Lane and Kensington.
These aren’t even the primary shops to close, with Amazon closing its Dalston department earlier this yr.
On the time, Amazon painted this as reprioritising its plans, fairly than a normal withdrawal from the brick-and-mortar retail retailer market. Certainly, it pointed to subsequent openings in Croydon and Monument to help this.
As soon as once more, the official remark echoes this sentiment: “Like all bodily retailer, we periodically assess our portfolio of shops and make optimisation choices alongside the way in which,” an Amazon spokesperson informed the BBC.
“Whereas we determined to shut three Amazon Contemporary shops, it doesn’t imply we gained’t develop – this yr, we’ll open new Amazon Contemporary shops to raised serve clients within the larger London space.”
Amazon’s dominance of e-commerce was constructed on knowledge and analytics, so in a single sense it’s no shock that the corporate isn’t afraid of closing shops that aren’t performing in addition to it could like.
However on the identical time, closing three shops in a single day doesn’t really feel like a vote of confidence within the endeavour. There was a time when the corporate was reportedly planning 100 or so shops throughout the UK, and that ambition appears to a minimum of be slowing, even when it hasn’t fully stalled.
A Sunday Occasions report from final yr heard from one insider who blamed the slowed growth on two issues: the underperformance of Amazon’s present Contemporary shops, and the excessive value of becoming out new places with the intelligent expertise that makes the checkout-free expertise potential.