Amazon will shut down Diapers.com and the other websites operated by its Quidsi division, the company confirmed to Bloomberg today, citing the division’s lack of profitability as the reason behind the decision. Quidsi’s acquisition by Amazon for $545 million was announced back in November 2010, and included the flagship Diapers.com brand, as well as the other one- to two-word domains like Soap.com and BeautyBar.com.
According to Bloomberg, more than 260 employees will lose their jobs in Quidsi’s Jersey City headquarters as a result of the shutdown, but some portion of those will be able to apply for other Amazon jobs, a New Jersey Department of Labor notice said.
Amazon confirmed the news of Quidsi’s shutdown in a statement, saying that Quidsi was yet unable to achieve profitability.
“We have worked extremely hard for the past seven years to get Quidsi to be profitable, and unfortunately we have not been able to do so,” an Amazon spokesperson said. “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.”
Amazon had continued to invest in Quidsi’s business over the years following the acquisition, even launching new brands like green grocer VineMarket.com, for example, and bringing the individual sites to mobile devices, including iPad.
There are several brands today operated by the company, each focusing on a particular vertical — like Wag.com for pet items, YoYo.com for toys and others.
Quidsi itself was originally started by Marc Lore, who more recently sold his latest e-commerce business Jet.com to Walmart for $3 billion in cash. At Walmart, Lore is now the head of the retailer’s e-commerce operations — an area of its business that has been increasingly acquisitive in recent months, as well. The company has picked up other online retailers, including ModCloth, Moosejaw, Hayneedle and ShoeBuy.
Amazon had originally snapped up Quidsi to eliminate the competition on the market, but the sites today overlap a lot with its core business — for example, Amazon has its own business aimed at helping new parents save on diapers and other baby items, Amazon Family (originally Amazon Mom), which competes for the same audience as Diapers.com.
Amazon did not say when the Quidsi sites will be shut down, but it does not appear customers have yet been notified.