Amazon closing two clothing stores in another failed bid into physical retail

Amazon is saying goodbye to its clothing stores.

The company said Thursday that it will close both of its “Amazon Style” stores located in Los Angeles and Columbus, Ohio, making it the latest brick-and-mortar business abandoned by Amazon. Both stores will close next week.

Amazon opened the first Amazon Style store last year at The Americana at Brand, a mall in Glendale, California. Some experts predicted the company’s entry could threaten traditional retailers like Macy's and Kohl's. But Amazon's ambitions into physical retail haven’t always panned out.

Last year, Amazon closed all of its brick-and-mortar bookstores, as well as its 4-star shops and pop up locations and said the move would enable it to concentrate on other physical businesses, including Amazon Fresh and its Style stores.

Earlier this year, Amazon said it was shutting down some Amazon Fresh and Go stores that weren’t living up to their promise. The company has also paused expansion on Fresh supermarkets as it aims to find the right formula that will allow it to scale its business.

On Thursday, the company continued to stress its commitment to its existing brick-and-mortar businesses.

“Physical retail remains an important part of our business, and we’re continuing to invest in growing our grocery stores business, which spans Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market, Amazon Go, and third-party partnerships,” spokesperson Kristen Kish said.

Amazon has already unveiled some of those investments. In August, the company showed off two redesigned Amazon Fresh stores in Illinois that it says will provide more product selections, low prices on more items and greater convenience during checkout.

The company will refresh another store in Los Angeles with the same format later this year, Kish said Thursday. She said 50 additional Whole Foods locations are also in the pipeline.

Kish said the e-commerce giant will work with affected Amazon Style employees to help them find new roles within the company and provide severance to those who choose to leave.