By Lauren Thomas. Source: CNBC.
E-commerce giant Amazon is shutting down its Quidsi unit, the parent company of sites like Diapers.com and Soap.com, after it failed to reach profitability, the company said Wednesday.
Amazon bought Quidsi in 2010 for around $500 million in cash, according to a press release. The packaged deal came with other sites such as Wag.com (pets), BeautyBar.com (luxury beauty), Yoyo.com (toys) and Casa.com (home goods). News of Amazon’s decision to close this unit was first reported by Bloomberg on Wednesday.
The shutdown will result in layoffs of more than 260 people, according to a New Jersey state filing. But Bloomberg reported that some of these employees will be able to apply for new positions at Amazon.
“We have worked extremely hard for the past seven years to get Quidsi to be profitable, and unfortunately we have not been able to do so,” an Amazon spokeswoman told CNBC in a statement. “Quidsi has great brand expertise and they will continue to offer selection on Amazon.com; the software development team will focus on building technology for AmazonFresh.”
Amazon hasn’t confirmed when its Quidsi-affiliated sites will go offline.
Quidsi’s founder, Marc Lore, is now the chief executive officer of Jet.com, which was recently acquired by big-box retailer Wal-Mart for approximately $3 billion in cash. Since last September, Lore has served as the president and CEO of Wal-Mart’s U.S. e-commerce platform, according to his LinkedIn profile.
“I’m not sure which is more unpleasant — changing diapers, paying too much for them, or running out of them,” Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said in 2010, following the news of the Quidsi acquisition. “This [acquisition] brings together two companies who are committed to providing great prices and fast delivery to parents, making one of the chores of being a parent a little easier and less expensive.”
It’s 2017, and Amazon is now more focused on technology and specifically building out its AmazonFresh brand.
Bezos’ company announced earlier this week that it has plans to launch a drive-in-type grocery store for Amazon Prime members, where customers can shop online, reserve a time to pick up their groceries and have them loaded into their car at the store.
AmazonFresh Pickup is one of Amazon’s many ventures into more and more brick-and-mortar locations. The company may also be considering a furniture and home appliance showroom, according to The New York Times.