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AmazonSmile discontinued as company faces cost-cutting measures

The program allowed customers to donate a small percentage of purchases to a charity of their choice. According to Amazon, it will end by February 20th.

SEATTLE — Amazon announced Wednesday that it is ending AmazonSmile, its charitable donation program that allowed customers to donate a small portion of their purchases to an organization of their choice.

The program is getting the ax as the company undergoes massive layoffs and cost-cutting measures.

“After nearly a decade, the program has not achieved the impact we originally hoped for,” Amazon said in a notice sent to customers on Wednesday evening. “With so many eligible organizations – more than 1 million worldwide – our ability to make an impact was often too thin.”

A small percentage of purchases made through AmazonSmile have been donated to a suitable charity of the customer’s choice. Amazon has donated about $400 million to charity since the program launched in 2013.

According to Amazon, the program will end by February 20. Charities participating in the program will still be able to receive donations until then. They will also receive a one-time donation equivalent to three months of donations when the program closes.

Amazon said it plans to “make significant changes” by investing in other areas such as affordable housing and disaster relief.

While it’s unclear if the layoffs were related to the demise of AmazonSmile, Amazon is currently cutting 18,000 positions, the largest layoff in the company’s history, as the e-retail giant adjusts to the changing economic outlook.

The company has slowed down its warehouse expansion plans and closed a number of divisions in a bid to cut costs, including telemedicine service Amazon Care, a video calling device for kids called Amazon Glow and longtime online fabric store Fabric.com.

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