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Amazon’s Stephenie Landry is changing how we shop for food

The VP of Grocery is No. 6 on Fast Company’s inaugural Queer 50 list.

Amazon’s Stephenie Landry is changing how we shop for food
[Photo: Don Milgate]

This story is part of Fast Company‘s first-ever Queer 50 List. Click here to see the full list.

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As people seek to isolate themselves during the coronavirus outbreak, many are ordering food online, rather than braving the supermarket. Enter Stephenie Landry, Amazon’s vice president of grocery. The Seattle-based executive, who has worked at Amazon for 16 years, now has the enormous responsibility of overseeing all of Amazon’s grocery delivery services, including Amazon Prime Now and Amazon Fresh.

“We’ve been in the space for a long time,” Landry says. “I worked on a local grocery delivery service a decade ago, but recently we’ve made a large push to make groceries more widely available to customers.” (Though Amazon Fresh and Amazon Prime Now are technically different services, functionally both provide customers a way to get groceries delivered same-day from Whole Foods. Prime Now is a separate app that also offers quick delivery of other home goods, as well as food from local grocers in certain areas.)

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, Amazon has hired an additional 175,000 workers and increased order capacity by more than 160% to keep up with increased demand. In a recent blog post, Landry pointed to additional COVID-19 safety measures for workers in response to the scrutiny Amazon has faced after employees at multiple fulfillment centers described a lack of precautions.

According to Landry, food purchasing norms were already shifting; grocery delivery has become increasingly popular over the past couple of years. The coronavirus has accelerated this trend. “If you think back a couple of years ago, people weren’t sure that you would ever buy clothing on the internet; they thought you would have to see it and feel it,” she says. “A lot of the same trends are happening for food right now,” she says, adding that her mission is to change people’s behaviors and expectations around buying food.

Before her transition to overseeing grocery deliveries, the New York native oversaw the super-fast Prime Now delivery service, which lets customers receive orders on certain items within the hour. “[I’ve been at Amazon for] over half the life of the company. . . . I’ve had a love affair with consumables—the products you eat, you use, or you put on your body,” Landry says. Other divisions of the company she has worked on include North American books, baby products, fine jewelry, and hazardous materials.

Landry has been active in promoting the queer community at her company. She is the executive officer of Amazon’s gay, lesbian, trans, and ally affinity group—internally dubbed “Glamazons”—which counts more than 5,000 members and has 100 chapters worldwide. The group helps members connect with each other, and helps organize gatherings at Pride festivals throughout the world.

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The group has also changed company culture, researching and writing policies around coming out as transgender in the workplace. “[We were] making sure that a manager has the appropriate tool kit available to them, that employees knew where they could find resources, and that HR was completely up to date on how to deal with it,” she says. “I spend a lot of my time thinking and imagining what kind of world do we want to live in, and how can we move toward that future?”

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