After more than a year in beta, Amazon opened its checkout-less grocery store to the public

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Amazon plans to close eight of its Go convenience stores, the company said Friday, a decision that coincides with a shrinking of its physical footprint and a broader effort to cut costs.

The company will close two Go stores in New York City, two locations in Seattle and four stores in San Francisco. The stores will close on April 1, and Amazon said it will work to help affected employees secure other roles at the company.

“Like any brick-and-mortar retailer, we regularly evaluate our portfolio of stores and make optimization decisions along the way,” Amazon spokeswoman Jessica Martin said in a statement. “In this case, we have decided to close a small number of Amazon Go stores in Seattle, New York City and San Francisco. We remain committed to the Amazon Go format, operating more than 20 Amazon Go stores across the United States, and will continue to learn which locations and features resonate most with customers as we continue to develop our Amazon Go stores.”

The news was previously reported by GeekWire.

Amazon Chief Executive Andy Jassy has taken steps to cut spending in its grocery unit and elsewhere as it grapples with declining sales and a worsening economic outlook. In January, the company said it would lay off as many as 18,000 employees, and soI felt the cuts in the Amazon grocery store. It has been felled stock and brick and mortar retail space in recent months after a period of rapid expansion fueled by a surge in e-commerce spending during the pandemic.

Amazon executives in the past confirmed the company would close some fresh supermarkets and Go stores after its fourth-quarter results. Amazon is also temporarily pausing expansion of grocery chain Fresh until it can find a format that resonates with customers and “where we like the economics,” Jassy said on the earnings call.

Amazon has been determined to crack the grocery segment since launching its Fresh grocery delivery service in 2007. It made a historic splash when it acquired upscale grocer Whole Foods Market during 2017 for $13.7 billion, Amazon’s largest acquisition ever.

The first Amazon Go store opened to the public in 2018 at the company’s headquarters in Seattle. Amazon equips the stores with cameras and sensors that enable customers to buy products without waiting in the checkout line. Last January, the company opened its first suburban location for Amazon Go in Mill Creek, Wash., after focusing launches around urban areas in an effort to attract commuters on their lunch breaks.

LOOK AT: How Whole Foods has changed in the five years since Amazon took over

How Whole Foods has changed in the five years since Amazon took over