Amazon is shutting down all of its US pop-up kiosks as it shifts its strategy toward growing other forms of physical stores. First reported by The Wall Street Journal, the company announced that it will be shuttering its pop-up kiosks, and all 87 mini-stores are expected to close by April 29th.
Amazon’s pop-up stores have been operating since 2014, usually located inside malls as small kiosks selling devices like Echos, Kindles, and tablets. The kiosks have also operated inside Kohl’s and Whole Foods stores, with new pop-ups opening up as recently as a few months ago. However, the sudden shutdowns show how abruptly the company is shifting its retail strategy toward expanding its larger physical stores and product offerings.
An Amazon spokesperson told The Verge, “After much review, we came to the decision to discontinue our pop-up kiosk program, and are instead expanding Amazon Books and Amazon 4-star, where we provide a more comprehensive customer experience and broader selection.” The company says it plans to open additional locations of both stores this year, which offer a wider variety of products like toys, games, home and kitchen goods, and electronics.
In addition to its bookstores and 4-star stores, it was reported last week that Amazon is also planning to launch a new chain of grocery stores separate from Whole Foods. Between that and the company’s ambitious plan to open up 3,000 cashier-less Go stores by 2021, it looks like Amazon is ready to outright trade its smaller pop-ups for bigger brick-and-mortar retail.