Amazon-owned Quidsi founders bail

Faith Merino · July 8, 2013 · Short URL:

Almost three years after Amazon acquired Quidsi for $540M, Quidsi founders are stepping down

Two and a half years after Amazon acquired Quidsi for $540 million, Quidsi founders Marc Lore and Vinit Bharara are reportedly stepping down. There’s no word on what, if anything, prompted the move. Automated email replies from the two simply stated that they had decided to leave Quidsi and would be taking time off before “beginning the next chapter.”

A Quidsi spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that Maria Renz, former Amazon VP of Media, stepped in as Quidsi CEO on July 1.

The Quidsi “Familyhood sites” started with in 2005, founded in Montclair, New Jersey by Lore and Bharara who went on to become CEO and COO, respectively. The company’s success has largely been attributable to 1) its highly automated shipping process, and 2) its fast and free delivery options. When a customer places an order, vacuum-cleaner-like robots in Quidsi’s warehouse determine what size box to ship the order in and then cruise through the warehouse, filling the orders and somehow managing not to bump into one another. The automated process has proven to be highly cost-efficient and allows the company to ship orders faster (customers can bank on having their items delivered to their doorstep within two days). 

Quidsi went on to expand to hygiene and daily life essentials with, beauty products with, pets with, home items with, natural products with, books with, after school activities with, and now clothing, with Users shopping the Familyhood sites can make multiple purchases across Quidsi’s different sites using one shopping cart. And Quidsi recently lowered its minimum price limit for free two-day shipping to $35 from $49.

The story of Amazon’s acquisition of Quidsi is pretty interesting in itself, since Lore and Bharara were reportedly not interested in selling. Amazon had approached Quidsi several times to discuss an acquisition, but Quidsi repeatedly refused, according to people close to the matter. So Amazon began offering Quidsi’s core product—diapers—for less than Quidsi’s price.

To drive the nail into the coffin, Amazon introduced Amazon Mom, which offers a range of baby-related items and deals for parents and caregivers, including 30% off diapers and wipes and free two-day delivery. 

Business Insider also found that the two e-commerce companies appeared to be in an advertising war on Google’s AdWords. Typing in “diapers” brought up a ad, while typing in reportedly brought up an Amazon Mom ad. 


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