Amazon announced Friday it is shutting down its stand-alone Prime Now platforms and is directing users who want fast delivery on groceries and other goods to order them through the Amazon app or website.
The Prime Now app and website will be retired worldwide by the end of this year, Amazon said.
“To make this experience even more seamless for customers, we are moving the experience from a separate Prime Now app onto the Amazon app and website so customers can shop all Amazon has to offer from one convenient location,” said Stephenie Landry, vice president of grocery at Amazon.
Consumers will be able to choose two-hour delivery on essentials and other goods via the Amazon app or website. Two-hour grocery delivery will be available via Amazon Fresh or Whole Foods, both of which are on Amazon’s app and website.
Additionally, any third-party retailers or local stores that were offered on the Prime Now the app will be moved over to Amazon, including Bartell Drugs, a pharmacy chain in Seattle, and Union Square Wines & Spirits in New York City.
Amazon debuted Prime Now in 2014 as a way for members of its Prime subscription service to get books, toys, household essentials, and other goods delivered to their doorstep in one or two hours for a small fee. Prime Now initially launched in select cities, but it’s now available in more than 5,000 cities and towns and two-hour delivery is free. As a testament to how much the service has grown, Amazon operates dedicated Prime Now warehouses to fulfill orders.
“In 2014, I wrote a six-page document outlining a service that would allow customers to get last-minute items in about an hour,” Landry said in a blog post. “We even gave the project the internal code name ‘Houdini.’ In just 111 days, our team took the concept outlined in that six-page document and turned it into Prime Now, which became the foundation for Amazon’s ultrafast grocery and same-day delivery businesses.”
Amazon’s ambitions in grocery have deepened over the years. It has rolled out multiple services, acquired upscale supermarket chain Whole Foods for $13.4 billion in 2017 and last year launched its own chain of Fresh grocery stores, which has resulted in a somewhat disjointed grocery strategy.
The company has recently taken steps to streamline its grocery offerings. In January, Amazon shuttered its Prime Pantry service, which delivered nonperishable groceries. The company is also rebranding its Go Grocery brand to Amazon Fresh and closing down one of two Go Grocery locations, GeekWire reported this week.
The move to shut down Prime Now’s app and website had been underway for some time. The company recently began directing users to the Amazon app and website via a pop-up in the Prime Now app.
Additionally, Amazon said it has already discontinued Prime Now’s app and website in India, Japan, and Singapore. It also began offering two-hour delivery from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods on Amazon in 2019.