By Aimee Chanthadavong

Meeting growing consumer preferences for online transactions, insurer AAMI will be closing its retail branches in the next two months.

AAMI will be closing 24 of its brick and mortar outlets as a result of suffering revenue losses from its branches.

AAMI spokesperson told RetailBiz the amount of revenue generated by the network has steadily diminished to the point where it now represents only approximately 2 per cent of total AAMI income.

“A review of our branch activity and revenue streams has shown us that in recent years, our customers have demonstrated through their buying behaviours a clear preference for transacting business over the phone and, increasingly, the Internet. This trend is expected to continue over the coming years,” he said.

“As a result, we have made the decision to close our branch network and focus our investment on our customers’ preferred channels.

“We will still be here for our customers 24/7, with a real person answering the phone. Our customers can still transact business and access our customer services via their preferred channels.”

But Forrester Research senior analyst Steven Noble said this trend is no uncommon, particularly in the insurance sector.

“When we look at our data insurance, for companies in the US mail is the most common way they interact with their customers followed by phone. Web is in there and it’s rising and physical store presence is smaller but that doesn’t mean they’re not using it as part of the mix,” he said.

“I would expect some more movement in that direction. The insurance sector, in particular, where we have seen them start with a no-physical approach and I would expect to see more niche businesses to start like that and it wouldn’t be a surprise.”