Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has decided to close the unprofitable Quidsi after purchasing the company six years ago. Quidsi is the parent company of Diapers.com, Soap.com, Wag.com, BeautyBar.com, Yoyo.com, and Casa.com. A spokesperson for Amazon did not say when the sites are going offline.
Amazon bought Quidsi almost six years ago to the day in a deal valued at around $545 million. To date, it is the company’s fourth-largest purchase. At the time, Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said, “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.”
According to a New Jersey state filing, 263 people will lose their jobs at Quidsi in June, with the job losses affecting both its headquarters and its customer service operation in Jersey City, N.J. Quidsi also has warehouses in Kansas and Nevada. Some of the affected workers will be able to apply for new positions with Amazon.
Amazon says that it has worked for the past seven years to get Quidsi to be profitable. Quidsi’s share of online baby product sales declined to 2 percent in the first quarter of this year from 9 percent in the same period of 2014. E-commerce analysts speculated that Amazon probably intended to eliminate the sites as stand-alone businesses at some point and roll those items into its own e-commerce network.
An Amazon spokeswoman said 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.” AmazonFresh is Amazon’s delivery service for groceries and other everyday items. AmazonFresh Pickup, now available in more than 20 markets. is one of Amazon’s many ventures into brick-and-mortar locations. Reports have emerged that the company may also be considering a furniture and home appliance showroom.
Quidsi’s co-founder and then-CEO Marc Lore worked at Amazon for a few years after the sale, then left to launch Jet.com in 2015, which he sold last year to Walmart for $3.3 billion. Lore now runs all U.S. e-commerce operations for Walmart, Amazon’s biggest competitor in the United States.