Amazon to close eight Go convenience stores in cost-cutting move

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After more than a year in beta, Amazon opened their cashier-less grocery store to the public

Stephen Brashear | Getty Images

Amazon plans to close eight of its Go convenience stores, the company said Friday, a decision that coincides with a pullback in its physical footprint and a broader effort to cut costs.

The company will shut two Go stores in New York City, two locations in Seattle, and four stores in San Francisco. The stores will close on April 1, and Amazon said it will work to help affected employees secure other roles at the company.

“Like any physical retailer, we periodically assess our portfolio of stores and make optimization decisions along the way,” Amazon spokesperson Jessica Martin said in a statement. “In this case, we’ve decided to close a small number of Amazon Go stores in Seattle, New York City, and San Francisco. We remain committed to the Amazon Go format, operate more than 20 Amazon Go stores across the U.S., and will continue to learn which locations and features resonate most with customers as we keep evolving our Amazon Go stores.” 

The news was previously reported by GeekWire.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy has been taking steps to curtail expenses in its grocery unit and elsewhere as it grapples with slowing sales and a worsening economic outlook. In January, the company said it would lay off as many as 18,000 employees, and some of the cuts were felt in Amazon’s grocery business. It has shed warehouse and brick-and-mortar retail space in recent months after a period of rapid expansion fueled by a surge of e-commerce spending during the pandemic.

Amazon executives previously confirmed the company would close some Fresh supermarkets and Go stores following its fourth-quarter earnings results. Amazon is also temporarily pausing expansion of the Fresh grocery chain until it can find a format that resonates with customers and “where we like the economics,” Jassy said on the earnings call.

Amazon has been determined to crack the grocery segment since the launch of its Fresh grocery delivery service in 2007. It made a historic splash when it acquired upscale grocer Whole Foods Market in 2017 for $13.7 billion, Amazon’s biggest acquisition ever.

The first Amazon Go store opened to the public in 2018 at the company’s Seattle headquarters. Amazon outfits the stores with cameras and sensors that enable customers to purchase products without waiting in the cashier line. Last January, the company opened its first suburban Amazon Go location in Mill Creek, Wash., after focusing launches around urban areas in a bid to draw commuters on their lunch breaks.

WATCH: How Whole Foods has changed in the five years since Amazon took over

How Whole Foods has changed in the five years since Amazon took over

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