68 stores closed, Amazon’s retail “ambition” turned

In the past, Amazon's main business was to sell books on the Internet. Among the traditional bookstores that have gradually declined in recent years, Amazon has successfully started its online business and has become an e-commerce giant. By 2015, Amazon opened its first brick-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle, and since then it has not only opened dozens of bookstores in other parts of the United States, but its offline retail business has gradually grown.

▲ Picture from: Amazon

Not long ago, Amazon announced that it plans to close Amazon Books (Amazon's physical bookstore), Amazon Pop Up (Amazon pop-up store) and Amazon 4-star (Amazon four-star store, mainly selling online four-star goods) in the United States and the United Kingdom. , a total of 68. The exact closing date varies by location, and Amazon will notify customers of the closing date via signage.

▲ Picture from: Amazon

Amazon also said it would help employees affected by store closures find new positions at the company, and would also provide severance packages for those who didn’t want to stay at Amazon.

While dozens of stores are about to close, Amazon is not looking to exit offline retail, but instead is focusing on other brick-and-mortar retail businesses, including grocery stores Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market, and recently launched clothing store Amazon Style, And Amazon Go, an unmanned grocery store.

▲ Picture from: Wembley Park

Whole Foods Market is a chain of grocery stores acquired by Amazon in 2017 for more than 10 billion US dollars. After that, Amazon launched Amazon Fresh, a fresh food store. Although it is also a grocery store, the two are slightly different.

Amazon Fresh works with local farmers to provide fresh fruit, vegetables and groceries. Whole Foods Market is one of the largest natural plant-based food chains in the United States, and you can buy many organic foods.

▲ Picture from: Whole Foods Market

Grocery stores are new compared to Amazon's previous e-commerce, but in the grocery space, Amazon doesn't seem to be creating the kind of differentiation that sets it apart from its many competitors at the moment. In order to realize the "ambition" in the retail business, Amazon is also working hard.

▲ Picture from: Money.co.uk

Currently, Amazon has introduced cashierless "Just Walk Out Shopping" technology in some Whole Foods Market, Amazon Fresh and Amazon Go stores. Customers enter and leave the store by scanning an in-store code or using Amazon One, a system that enables contactless identification and payment through the hover of the palm of the hand.

▲ Picture from: Whole Foods Market

Multiple cameras in the store will carry out customer identity and product tracking. Through the camera's combination of computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning, "Just Walk Out Shopping" technology can identify the products customers take off the shelves, and finally send bills to customers. During the whole process, customers do not even need to scan the barcode of the product to complete the checkout, and the shopping experience is different.

▲ Picture from: Supermarket News

In addition, at Amazon Style, a brick-and-mortar fashion store that Amazon will open, it plans to use algorithms to suggest to customers what they should try on.

The closure of the store this time is a turning point in Amazon's business. I don't know how this adjustment to the development strategy of brick-and-mortar retail will bring new development to Amazon.

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