Amazon Is Closing 87 Pop-Up Shops but Has Other Brick-and-Mortar Plans

March 7, 2019, 12:02 AM UTC

Operating a chain of brick-and-mortar retail stores in the age of Amazon is a tough business. Just ask Amazon.

The e-commerce giant is closing its 87 pop-up stores in the U.S. as executives rethink the plan to sell goods in physical retail stores, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. “After much review, we came to the decision to discontinue our pop-up kiosk program,” an Amazon spokeswoman told the Journal.

In September 2016, Amazon said it would open as many as 100 pop-up stores in the U.S., after a pilot program of six such stores in 2015 proved successful enough to encourage the company to sell more goods in Amazon-branded spaces.

Amazon’s pop-up stores began appearing in shopping malls, Kohl’s and grocery stores including the Whole Foods stores Amazon bought in 2017, eventually planting a retail presence in 21 states. The stores were typically small, occupying a few hundred square feet, and featured Amazon devices such as its Echo voice-assistant speakers and Kindle e-readers.

Though the pop-ups are coming down, Amazon will move ahead with other retail-store formats, including its bookstores and stores that feature items rated with at least four stars on Amazon’s retail site. The company is also still planning to launch a new line of grocery stores and expand its cashierless convenience stores.

The pop-up stores, meanwhile, will be shut down by the end of next month, the Journal said.

Amazon’s stock fell $23.48 a share, or 1.4%, to $1,668.95 a share Wednesday.