Amazon Axes Pantry, Adds Items to the Main Store
Launched in 2014, Amazon Pantry was a relic of days when Amazon didn't run multiple grocery store chains.
It's been over three years since Amazon acquired Whole Foods—a move that instantly turned America's largest online retailer into a major player in the grocery industry as well. But that's not to say Amazon hadn't shown interest in groceries before: In 2014, Amazon launched Amazon Prime Pantry—a service that brought the Amazon ethos to the kind of supermarket products that are easy to ship: things like nonperishable foods and household supplies.
But six years is a very long-time for a tech company like Amazon, and as the retailer has continued to expand its grocery reach—including its own Amazon stores—they have announced that Pantry has been down as of Wednesday.
"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," a spokesperson said according to Bloomberg.
What had previously set Pantry apart—beyond its selection of products—was the shipping and costs: Pantry allowed subscribers to fill up a single box with Pantry-specific items and have it shipped for free on orders over $40. However, Pantry required a $5 monthly fee on top of customers' existing Prime Membership. Now that Prime includes free delivery from options like Whole Foods or Amazon Fresh, paying a monthly fee to get what is essentially a limited selection of only non-perishable items sent more slowly (Pantry orders purportedly took as many as four days to arrive) potentially seems both outdated for consumers and logistically antiquated for Amazon. And at the very least, axing Pantry should end confusion for anyone who couldn't figure out why they couldn't just add Pantry items to a normal Amazon order. Now they can.
Amazon told Bloomberg that subscribers were notified that the service was coming to an end last month and received refunds for any outstanding fees before its demise.