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Amazon's continued culling of its bricks-and-mortar fleet of stores persists, as the BBC reports that the company has closed the first checkout-free unit that it opened outside the US.

The story says that the Amazon Fresh unit with Just Walk Out tech was closed on Sunday, along with two other London-area Amazon Fresh units.

According to the BBC, "Amazon said they were closed after an assessment of its 'portfolio of stores, but new outlets were planned."  Amazon said that it remained "committed to our investment in grocery and, as we grow, we'll continue to learn which locations and features resonate most with customers."

KC's View:

Lots of announced closures by Amazon, lots of discussion of how it is assessing its physical footprint, and lots of assurances that it will open more stores and remains committed to the grocery sector.

I may be wrong about this, but it feels to me that what really is happening here is that there is lots of treading water while Amazon tries to figure out what to do in the food sector.

I'll say it again.  What Amazon really has to do is hire one great executive who could combine a love of the food category with an ability to motivate employees as well as focus on both efficiency and effectiveness.  They need someone who knows how to swim forward fast, not someone who knows how to tread water.

(I have ideas.  Andy, call me.)