A picture taken on June 9, 2016 shows the Amazon warehouse in Paris, part of the new ‘Prime Now’ service.
Eric Piermont | AFP | Getty Images
Amazon is shutting down its standalone Prime Now platforms and is instructing users who want quick delivery of groceries and other goods to order through the Amazon app or website, the company said on Friday.
The Prime Now app and website will be retired globally by the end of this year, Amazon said.
“To make this experience even more seamless for customers, we’re moving the experience from a separate Prime Now app to the Amazon app and website so customers can shop everything Amazon has to offer from one convenient place,” Stephenie Landry, vice president of grocery at Amazon, said in a blog post.
Consumers can choose two-hour delivery for essentials and other goods via the Amazon app or website. Food is delivered within two hours via Amazon Fresh or Whole Foods. Both can be found in the app and on the Amazon website.
In addition, any third-party or local stores offered on the Prime Now app will be rolled over to Amazon, including Bartell Drugs, a Seattle pharmacy chain, and Union Square Wines & Spirits in New York City.
Amazon debuted Prime Now in 2014 to give members of its Prime subscription service the ability to have books, toys, household items, and other merchandise delivered to their doorstep in an hour or two for a small fee. Originally launched in a handful of cities, Prime Now is now available in more than 5,000 cities and has free delivery within two hours. As proof of just how much the service has grown, Amazon operates dedicated Prime Now warehouses to fulfill orders.
“In 2014, I wrote a six-page document describing a service that would allow customers to get last-minute articles in about an hour,” Landry wrote in the blog post. “We even codenamed the project ‘Houdini’ internally. In just 111 days, our team converted the concept outlined in this six-page document into Prime Now, which laid the foundation for Amazon’s ultra-fast grocery and delivery business that same day. “
Amazon’s food ambitions have deepened over the years. The company rolled out multiple services, acquired upscale supermarket chain Whole Foods for $ 13.4 billion in 2017, and launched its own chain of fresh grocery stores last year, resulting in a somewhat disjointed grocery strategy.
The company recently took steps to optimize its food offering. In January, Amazon closed its Prime Pantry service that delivers non-perishable groceries, and the company renamed its Go Grocery brand to Amazon Fresh, GeekWire reported this week.
The move to shut down the Prime Now app and website had been underway for some time. The company recently started referring users to the Amazon app and website through a popup on the Prime Now app.
In addition, Amazon has already retired the Prime Now app and website in India, Japan and Singapore. Since 2019, two-hour delivery from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods has also been offered on Amazon.