Amazon is putting a cork in its wine sales marketplace after five years.
The internet retail giant began notifying wine sellers Monday it would shut down its Amazon Wine business at the end of the year. The marketplace, which launched in 2012, offers hundreds of wines that can be ordered directly from the winery through Amazon.
“[A]s 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,” the company said in a statement. “Wine will continue to be offered through Amazon Fresh, Prime Now and Whole Foods Markets.”
The announcement comes nearly two months after Amazon closed its $13.7 billion deal to acquire Whole Foods Markets — by far Amazon’s biggest acquisition.
Amazon has said it plans to turn its Prime membership program into the Whole Foods rewards program, offering “special savings and in-store benefits” for Prime members. There are an estimated 85 million Prime members in the US, a huge and mostly higher-income group that could help build up Whole Foods’ sales.
Amazon didn’t immediate respond to a request for comment.
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