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Amazon has gone in for a switch... The e-tailing giant has folded up Prime Pantry and all of the food and household merchandise sold through it will be available from the parent site. Image Credit: AP

Seattle: Amazon.com Inc. has shuttered Prime Pantry, a grocery and household essentials delivery service that was one of the retailer's early forays into selling food online. Thousands of products previously available under the Prime Pantry banner were folded into the company's main retail site.

Launched in 2014, Prime Pantry featured a selection of shelf-stable food and snacks, as well as cleaning products, and was designed to get shoppers to stock up on the bulky, often expensive-to-ship products in orders that could fit into a single large box.

Initially the service was offered only to members of the Prime free shipping programme, but Amazon added a $5 a month subscription option in 2018. Those who were still paying the monthly fee were notified of the shutdown in December and received refunds, the spokeswoman said.

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"As part of our commitment to delivering the best possible customer experience, we have decided to transfer Amazon Pantry selection to the main Amazon.com store so customers can get everyday household products faster, without an extra subscription or purchase requirement," the spokeswoman said in an email.

In addition to shelf-stable food offered on Amazon's main retail site, members of the $119-a-year Prime programme in many cities can also order fresh food from Amazon Fresh and the company's Whole Foods Market chain.