Amazon Halts AmazonSmile Charitable Giving Program Due to Cost Cuts

Packages move along a conveyor belt at an Amazon fulfillment center on Cyber ​​Monday in Robbinsville, New Jersey, Monday, November 1. 28, 2022.

Stephanie Keith | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon on Wednesday announced plans to end its charitable giving program, in the latest example of the company’s broader cost-cutting efforts.

Through the program, called AmazonSmile, the e-tailer donates a percentage of eligible purchases on the site to the charity organization chosen by the shoppers. Amazon said it has donated more than $377 million to charities globally since the program launched in 2013.

Amazon now plans to remove AmazonSmile by February. On January 20, the company said in a notice to customers posted on its website.

“After almost a decade, the program has not grown to create the impact we originally hoped for,” the company said. “With so many eligible organizations – over a million worldwide – our ability to make an impact was often too scattered.”

Amazon will continue to invest in areas where it can “make meaningful change,” such as natural disaster relief assistance, affordable housing initiatives and community relief programs, the company said.

The decision to shut down AmazonSmile comes as CEO Andy Jassy embarked on a thorough review of the company’s spending amid a deteriorating economic outlook and slowing growth at its retail division.

Amazon began the largest layoffs in its history and instituted a hiring freeze across its entire workforce. As Jassy struggled to control costs, the company put warehouse expansion on hold and shut down some experimental projects like its telehealth service and a quirky video-calling device for kids.

— CNBC’s Lora Kolodny contributed reporting for this article.

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