Amazon scraps 4-star stores, leaving gap at Providence Place mall

AMAZON.COM INC. HAS pulled the plug on its Amazon 4-star stores across the country, including its planned retail location at the Providence Place mall. Pictured is the Amazon 4-star location in Norwalk, Conn. / COURTESY AMAZON.COM INC.

PROVIDENCE – Amazon.com Inc. apparently isn’t going to deliver on plans announced last year for a retail location at the Providence Place mall.

The online retail giant recently announced that it’s closing down all of its Amazon 4-star stores, in addition to other brick-and-mortar brands Amazon Books and Amazon Pop Up stores. This comes after the company said last fall that an Amazon 4-star store was “coming soon” to Suite 3145 at the Providence Place mall, where a sign was placed in front of the location advertising its plans for the location.

While announcing a nationwide closure of Amazon 4-star stores, Amazon said physical retail remains an important part of its business, and the company will continue operating Amazon Style, Amazon Fresh, Amazon Go and Whole Foods Market stores.

The company said it’s moving forward with plans to open a new Amazon Style store in Los Angeles soon.

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The planned Providence location was set to join 33 other Amazon 4-star locations that were operations across the U.S., including the first that opened in New York City in 2018. The name of the store chain, which took some of the most popular items sold on the Amazon website and brought them to the shelves, got its name from the fact that its inventory consisted mostly of products that received a user rating of 4 stars or better from users of the online shopping platform.

“We’ve decided to close our Amazon 4-star, Books, and Pop Up stores, and focus more on our Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market, Amazon Go, and Amazon Style stores and our Just Walk Out technology,” said Jennifer Hawkins, an Amazon spokesperson, in an email. “We remain committed to building great, long-term physical retail experiences and technologies, and we’re working closely with our affected employees to help them find new roles within Amazon.”

Hawkins did not say whether Amazon had other plans for a retail presence in Suite 3145 at the Providence Place mall, such as using it for one of its Amazon Style locations.

“Unfortunately, I do not have those details for you,” she said.

A representative for Brookfield Properties, which operates the Providence Place mall, referred all questions on the matter to Amazon.

Marc Larocque is a PBN staff writer. Contact him at Larocque@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter @LaRockPBN.

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