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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 26 March 2019

Amazon plans to open more bookstores in bricks-and-mortar expansion plans

The online giant also announced it will shut tens of pop-up kiosks in the United States

The Amazon Books store in Seattle, Washington, was the first physical shop the online giant opened. AFP
The Amazon Books store in Seattle, Washington, was the first physical shop the online giant opened. AFP

Amazon has unveiled plans to open more bookstores and "4-star" shops selling only the best-rated products - while closing its smaller "pop-up" kiosks in the United States.

"After much review, we came to the decision to discontinue our pop-up kiosk program, and are instead expanding Amazon Books and Amazon 4-star," a spokesperson said on Wednesday. "We look forward to opening additional locations of both stores this year."

According to CNBC, the 87 pop-up stores in the US will close next month. Launched in 2014, the stands - located in shopping centres or in other stores, such as Amazon-owned supermarket Whole Foods - offered the company's services and electronics, such as Kindles and Amazon Echoes.

The announcement confirms Amazon's goal to strengthen its real-world, bricks-and-mortar presence with more, larger physical outlets.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the firm, owned by billionaire Jeff Bezos, plans to open a supermarket chain separate from Whole Foods - with the first expected in Los Angeles at the end of this year.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 19, 2018 Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos provides the keynote address at the Air Force Association's Annual Air, Space & Cyber Conference in Oxen Hill, Maryland. Jeff Bezos remains the world's richest person, ahead of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, according to the latest Forbes list of the ultra wealthy. But while things are largely stable up top in that ranking, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg dropped three spots and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg rose by two. According to the list announced March 4, 2019 by Forbes, the riches of Bezos, 55, have swelled by $19 billion in one year and he is now worth $131 billion. / AFP / Jim WATSON
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is expanding into supermarkets, according to reports. AFP

The firm opened its first "4-star" shop in New York in September, with stock made up solely of products given a four and five-star rating on its website.

In early 2018, the group also opened its first "Amazon Go" store in Seattle - a grocery outlet without a checkout, where purchases are recorded by cameras and sensors.

Updated: March 7, 2019 10:57 AM

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