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Amazon closing 8 of its high-tech pay-and-go stores

Amazon is closing eight of its Go stores as part of its latest effort to streamline its brick-and-mortar retail operations.

Affected stores include two in New York City, four in San Francisco, and two in Amazon’s home city of Seattle. All eight will close their doors by April 1, according to a GeekWire report.

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The Go store’s format gained much attention when the first site opened in 2018 as customers are able to take items and leave without having to visit a cash desk. The unusual shopping experience is made possible by sensors and cameras placed around the store that track a customer’s selections, with a charge later made to their Amazon account.

After these closures, Amazon will have around 20 Go stores operating across four U.S. states, with about a further 10 currently open overseas.

Commenting on the Go closures, the e-commerce giant said: “Like any physical retailer, we periodically assess our portfolio of stores and make optimization decisions along the way.”

It added: “We remain committed to the Amazon Go format, operate more than 20 Amazon Go stores across the U.S., and will continue to learn which locations and features resonate most with customers as we keep evolving our Amazon Go stores.”

GeekWire noted that Amazon’s brick-and-mortar cutbacks follow an announcement by the company last year that it was closing 68 stores, including the entirety of its Amazon 4-star, Books, and Pop Up outlets as it sought to concentrate more on its grocery offerings, which include Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market, and Amazon Go.

Like many tech firms in recent months, Amazon revealed in January that it was seeking to make significant cuts to its workforce to help it better cope with economic headwinds.

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