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Amazon is Shutting Down its Food-Delivery Business

The service, called Amazon Restaurants, offered delivery in more than 20 cities in the U.S

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Job seekers line up to apply during "Amazon Jobs Day," a job fair being held at 10 fulfillment centers across the United States aimed at filling more than 50,000 jobs, at the Amazon.com Fulfillment Center in Fall River, Massachusetts, Aug. 2, 2017. VOA

Amazon said Tuesday that it is closing its U.S. restaurant delivery service, a 4-year-old business that failed to take off amid fierce competition from Uber Eats, DoorDash and others.

The service, called Amazon Restaurants, offered delivery in more than 20 cities in the U.S. It expanded into the United Kingdom, but it shut down the service in that country late last year. The closure of the U.S. business, which was first reported by technology news site GeekWire, will happen on June 24.

Still, Amazon.com Inc. has shown interest in delivering meals to diners’ doorsteps. Last month, it bought a stake in British food delivery company Deliveroo, whose kangaroo logo is a common sight on bicycles and scooters in Britain.

Amazon Restaurants was a tiny player in the U.S., taking about 2% of the market, according to Jeremy Scott, a food and restaurant analyst at Mizuho.

Amazon, US, Restaurant
Amazon said Tuesday that it is closing its U.S. restaurant delivery service. Pixabay

He said it didn’t promote the delivery service enough and didn’t have deals with big fast food chains. Uber Eats, for example, delivers Big Macs from McDonalds; DoorDash has a partnership with Wendy’s; and Grubhub delivers Taco Bell chalupas and buckets of KFC’s fried chicken.

With it out of the business, analysts said others could pick up its business. Shares of Grubhub Inc. soared 7% Tuesday.

But Scott thinks it isn’t abandoning the business altogether.

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“The shuttering of the platform doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t eventually invest in the space,” he said. (VOA)

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Small Shops in US Often Sell Tobacco Without Checking Age

More than 64 per cent of grocery stores checked IDs, compared with about 34 per cent of convenience stores and tobacco shops, and 29 per cent bars, restaurants and alcohol stores

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FILE - An anti-tobacco warning is seen on a road divider on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, Nov. 4, 2016. VOA

Those buying tobacco from shops in the US, especially small stores, are usually not asked for identification hence it is easy for underage users to buy cigarettes there, says a study.

When researchers, aged 20 and 21, visited a variety of shops in the US, more than 60 per cent of cashiers did not ask them for identification.

In the study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, it was found that these young adults slipped by without an age check most often when they visited small stores, tobacco shops and shops plastered with tobacco ads.

“Our findings suggest that certain types of stores – tobacco shops, convenience stores and those with a lot of tobacco advertising – are more likely to sell tobacco to a young person without checking his or her ID,” said Megan Roberts, Assistant Professor at Ohio State University in the US.

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FILE – Cigarette packs are seen on shelves in a tobacco shop in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France. VOA

“One implication of this finding is that enforcement may benefit from targeted outreach and monitoring at these locations,” she added.

The study included visits to a randomly sampled 103 tobacco retailers in 2017.

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More than 64 per cent of grocery stores checked IDs, compared with about 34 per cent of convenience stores and tobacco shops, and 29 per cent bars, restaurants and alcohol stores.

“Having a minimum legal sales age for tobacco is important for reducing youth access to tobacco. Not only does it prevent young people from purchasing tobacco for themselves, but it prevents them from buying tobacco and distributing it to others, often younger peers,” Roberts said. (IANS)