Retailers

Amazon Discontinues Pantry Service

Directs shoppers to brick-and-mortar stores for household essentials
Photograph: Shutterstock

Just a few years ago, it was difficult to imagine Amazon scaling back its online grocery presence, but as the retail giant continues to expand into brick-and-mortar with Amazon Fresh, Amazon Go, Amazon Go Grocery and some 500 Whole Foods Markets, it has decided to discontinue its Amazon Pantry offering.

When Amazon Pantry—originally Prime Pantry—launched in 2014, many in the industry perceived the launch as yet another threat to traditional grocery stores. Like its current Amazon Fresh messaging, the company touted Amazon Pantry as a place for “low-priced everyday essentials.”

Initially, Pantry offered shoppers a flat fee on delivery (with a cap on pounds and/or space, whichever came first) on shelf-stable food and beverages, as well as cleaning products that can be heavy to ship. In 2018, it became a subscription service fee add-on to Prime membership.

But last month, Amazon notified customers who had Amazon Pantry subscriptions of the discontinuation of the service and refunded the monthly subscription fee for December, the company told WGB in an email.

“As part of our commitment to delivering the best possible customer experience, we have decided to transfer Amazon Pantry selection to the main Amazon.com store so customers can get everyday household products faster, without an extra subscription or purchase requirement,” an Amazon spokesperson told WGB. “We will continue to offer customers a growing choice of thousands of low-priced everyday essentials in our Amazon stores, as well as through Amazon Fresh, Prime Now and Whole Foods Market available in more than 2,000 cities and towns.

Amazon Fresh, which is expected to open its sixth and seventh locations any day now—one in Schaumburg and another in Oak Lawn, Ill.—appears to be putting more of its grocery stock into physical stores. As WGB has previously reported, some industry analysts predict the Seattle-based company has its sights set on 2,000 consumable-focused retail stores in the U.S.—a blend of approximately 750 Whole Foods Markets and the balance represented by Amazon Fresh locations.

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