Online retail giant Amazon announced on Wednesday, March 6, that it will be shutting down all 87 of its pop-up shops in the U.S. by the end of April.
The electronics-focused pop-ups that will be closed down are located in 21 states in malls, Amazon-owned Whole Foods Market locations, and Kohl’s stores, reported Fortune. The kiosks began appearing in 2017 after a pilot program in 2015 featuring six pop-up shops was a success for the company.
Customers who visited these shops were able to test out and buy Amazon-branded products, such as Echo speakers, Kindle e-readers, and Fire tablets, and services such as Prime Video, Audible, and Kindle Unlimited. Additionally, the staff was trained to set up brand-new devices that were purchased.
“Across our Amazon network, we regularly evaluate our businesses to ensure we’re making thoughtful decisions around how we can best serve our customers. After much review, we came to the decision to discontinue our pop-up kiosk program,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement, according to Fox Business.
CBS News reported that even though the pop-up kiosks will no longer be featured in Kohl’s, the department store’s CEO, Michelle Gass, told analysts earlier in the week that the company will soon begin selling Amazon-made electronics as part of its regular merchandise.
Meanwhile, Amazon revealed that it will be opening additional locations of its more popular Amazon Books (traditional book store), Amazon 4-star (selling a variety of products — including toys, games, home and kitchen goods, and electronics — that have been given four-star ratings on the Amazon website), and Amazon Go (cashierless convenience shops) stores later this year. These retail shops offer a much broader product selection than the pop-ups.
Currently, Amazon Go is only operating in Seattle, Chicago, and San Francisco, but CNBC cited a September report from Bloomberg that said Amazon is considering opening as many as 3,000 new locations by 2021. At the small stores, which sell grab-and-go food items and select groceries, customers scan their Amazon Go apps on their phones, pick up the items that they want, and then leave the store. The magic of technology records what items have been chosen and, soon after leaving the store, you get a receipt saying that your credit card has been charged.
This news comes less than a week after Amazon announced plans to open up a chain of grocery stores that will be separate entities from the more than 460 Whole Foods Market locations that they already own.