Wednesday, November 23, 2022

"Amazon Retail Stores Are Closing Down As Jeff Bezos Warns Hard Times Are Coming"

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"Amazon Retail Stores Are Closing Down As 
Jeff Bezos Warns Hard Times Are Coming"
by Epic Economist

"As the holiday season approaches, fears of a deep recession continue to grow, and now the world’s largest e-commerce retailer, Amazon, has started to close several brick-and-mortar locations, shut down warehouses, sharply downsize its headcounts and abandon expansion plans amid declining sales. Founder and former CEO Jeff Bezos recently shared an ominous warning telling consumers and business owners that hard times are coming. Now it is time to hope for the best but prepare for the worst, according to Bezos, who is urging people to start holding off their purchases and save money to navigate through the downturn that is ahead. More and more high-profile executives are sharing their concerns about the challenges we will be facing as we enter 2023. The numbers are grim and the outlook is even grimmer.

The holidays are a time when American consumers typically prepare for making some big-ticket expenses amid retail discounts and big sales events such as Prime Day and Black Friday. But according to one of the world’s richest men and founder of e-commerce giant Amazon, Jeff Bezos, that might not be a good move this year. As economic conditions in the United States continue to deteriorate, the billionaire is telling shoppers and business owners that intend to make big purchases in the coming months to postpone their spending plans for the time being because holding a balance right now may throw them into trouble later on.

Bezos said American families should avoid big-ticket purchases such as cars and televisions not to compromise their finances as we head to a period of economic uncertainty. "If you are an individual and you are thinking about buying a large-screen TV, maybe slow that down, keep that cash, and see what happens. Same thing with a refrigerator, a new car, whatever. Just take some risk off the table,” the billionaire advised.

Amazon, which will update investors early next month, is grappling with a decline in its e-commerce sales. In October, weaker-than-expected earnings results led the company’s shares to crash by 20% in a single day. The e-commerce retailer has started to tighten its belt, too. Under the command of new CEO Andy Jassy, the company has made some cutbacks, including a hiring freeze and canceled or delayed new projects. All in all, the company is closing almost 70 retail stores, with 66 of them located in the US.

The company also announced that it is scrapping plans to build dozens of warehouse facilities across the United States as sales slow down. In the second quarter, Amazon disclosed plans to reduce its workforce by 99,000 after consumers started to back off from discretionary spending, CNBC said. A couple of weeks ago, the e-commerce behemoth announced that it will start to lay off about 10,000 this month. The job cuts are expected to target retail, human resources departments, and tech jobs, even as the holiday shopping season gets underway.

On Thursday, Amazon said it will continue to lay off employees in the coming year as the company is still in the middle of its annual operating planning process, and business leaders are still determining the need for further job cuts. According to Bezos, it’s difficult to predict when this massive downturn will end, so “you just have to try and be reasonable about it, and take as much risk off the table as you can for yourself”. “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst,” the billionaire stressed because very challenging times are coming for all of us."
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