Amazon, In Rare Defeat, To End Its U.S. Restaurant Delivery Service

Amazon.com Inc. is shutting its restaurant delivery service Amazon Restaurants in the U.S., putting an end to a four-year experiment that sought to compete with the likes of Grubhub and Uber Eats but failed to gain much traction. Amazon said it would discontinue the service on June 24 and that the small number of employees who made up the division have found new roles within the company or will be aided with finding new positions. Investors in some food-delivery companies welcomed news that a giant had retreated from the market. Amazon started offering restaurant delivery for Amazon Prime members in certain ZIP Codes throughout its hometown in 2015. The next year, it opened a similar business in the U.K. When Amazon first announced Amazon Restaurants, it said Prime customers would see their food delivered within an hour or less without paying a delivery fee. It also said it would place a “high bar” on which restaurants it chose to participate with. But the project failed to show significant growth, and Amazon didn’t aggressively promote it. The company closed its U.K. service late last year, and as of May, it serviced only about 25 cities in the U.S., according to its website. The demise of Amazon Restaurants is a rare logistical misstep by a company that is a dominant force in eCommerce and prides its delivery prowess.
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