Re/code has a story about why Amazon may have decided to stop offering its Amazon Fresh service in parts of nine states - that privately, it “laid blame on the U.S. Postal Service, which was responsible for delivering Amazon Fresh orders to customers in most, if not all, of the affected delivery areas.”

According to the story, “Amazon officials have told several food brands that the USPS had delivered an unreliable experience to customers with too many late or missed deliveries, according to people familiar with the discussions. With no other good delivery options for fresh food in these areas, Amazon decided to shut down the service. These brands were also told the economics of the business were harder in the service areas that Amazon chose to shut down, because they were less densely populated.”

KC's View: This just reinforces a point I’ve made here repeatedly - that it is always risky to outsource the delivery aspect of a transaction to someone else. I don’t care if it is the Post Office or Instacart … it is putting one’s brand equity into the hands of a third party that may not live up to customer expectations. When that happens, it can only damage the grocer’s reputation.