Amazon to close 68 stores, including all bookstores

Amazon is to close all its "physical" bookstores among dozens of others, reports Publishers Weekly, ending a six-year experiment even as other brick-and-mortar efforts thrive.

Many industry observers believed Amazon's goal in opening the stores was to experiment with new shopping technologies, showroom its book and book-related offerings, and examine consumer behavior. Indeed, after the launch of Amazon Books, the company became much more involved in physical retail, highlighted by its $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods in 2017.

Amazon has said that physical retail remains an important part of its business, since it gives customers more choice on how to shop with the company. Bricks-and-mortar stores, however, remain a small part of Amazon's total business, representing less than 4% of its revenue in 2021.

Surely good news for the independent bookstores competing locally with these.