As Amazon Grows, Even Its Own Units Can Get in the Way

Retailer to shutter Diapers.com and other Quidsi units

Author: Rimma Kats


March 29, 2017

In a move that consolidates its CPG businesses under its own branding, Amazon is shutting down the company’s Quidsi unit, including Diapers.com, Soap.com and Wag.com.

The ecommerce giant acquired Quidsi in 2011 for about $500 million. An Amazon spokesman said that Quidsi was not profitable.

“With everything that Amazon’s doing with AmazonFresh Pickup and Dash buttons, it makes sense to get rid of the separate brand and organization,” said eMarketer analyst Yory Wurmser. “There wasn’t a lot of brand equity in Diapers.com or Soap.com that would be lost by folding them into Amazon itself.”

But this is not a precursor to other brands necessarily being folded under the Amazon brand. “A brand like Zappos has a distinct identity,” Wurmser said of the footwear retailer, which Amazon acquired in 2009. The same is true of the fashion brands bought or created by Amazon, such as Lark & Ro.

Packaged goods like diapers, cleaning products and pet supplies have been seen as having ecommerce potential, yet they have struggled for traction.

IRI estimates that nonfood ecommerce sales totaled $7 billion in 2015, a figure that is expected to grow to $27 billion by 2020. Food and beverage sales trailed those numbers.

Additional research by The Harris Poll shows that more US internet users polled in June 2016 had purchased food items online than nonfood household care items.

More recent data from Cowen and Company found that Amazon Prime members were more likely to purchase personal care products, vitamins, and home and garden goods, compared with pet products and household products.

The plan to shutter the Quidsi properties came just a day after Amazon announced its purchase of Souq.com, a Middle Eastern ecommerce site.



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