Economy

Amazon pulls online wine arm

Amazon has built its reputation as the place to find everything. Wine suppliers pay fees to Amazon to sell through Amazon Wine, while Amazon also acts as a retailer of wine through Whole Foods and increasingly other services, like Prime Now.

Amazon has confirmed it is closing down its dedicated online wine arm - Amazon Wine, after just five years.

But, in an email to Amazon Wine sellers, which has been widely reported by media outlets, the company stated that 'as Amazon continues to offer customers additional retail options for buying wine, we will no longer offer a marketplace for wine at this time, and Amazon Wine will close on December 31st, 2017′.

It is thought that Amazon was forced to kill Amazon Wine after its recent acquisition of Whole Foods Market, including Whole Foods' wine business.

Launched in November 2012, Amazon Wine allows wineries to list their wares on the mega-retailer's online platform for a fee, and then ship wines directly to consumers themselves.

Under existing laws, it's hard for Amazon to both sell its own wine and sell and advertise wine from third parties.

That last statement is important: Even though Amazon Wine is being shut down, this decision shouldn't be misconstrued to mean that Amazon is getting out of the wine business.

Once Amazon acquired Whole Foods earlier this year in a surprise multi-billion dollar deal, this dynamic changed as the retailer inherited bricks-and-mortar stores in multiple U.S. states and countries overseas with existing licenses.

Despite the death of Amazon Wine, Amazon isn't completely exiting the booze business.



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