Amazon has temporarily suspended the shipment of all items from independent merchants to its warehouses that are not medical supplies or “high-demand” products.
This temporary suspension will go through 5 April as the e-commerce giant prioritises products relating to combating the growing coronavirus pandemic.
“We are temporarily prioritising household staples, medical supplies and other high-demand products coming into our fulfilment centres so we can more quickly receive, restock, and ship these products to customers,” an Amazon spokesperson told the Independent.
“We understand this is a change for our selling partners and appreciate their understanding as we temporarily prioritise these products for customers,” the spokesperson added.
This decision from Amazon comes after the online site saw an increase in shopping from people around the world. Items prioritised by shoppers and subsequently going out of stock related to cleaning supplies and other necessary items for Covid-19.
Independent merchants already experienced issues with selling their products after factories in China shuttered during its own outbreak. As China has gotten a handle on the coronavirus in its country, some of these factories have opened up. But now merchants will have to determine what to do with their products.
Amazon said products already en route to its warehouses will be accepted and shipped out. But no new products will be accepted for the next three weeks.
Independent merchants still have the option to sell their products through Amazon without using the company’s warehouses. But that would put strain on merchants to find an independent warehouse to ship out their products.
Sellers and vendors will be notified by Amazon once it decides to return to its normal operations.
Amazon also announced on Monday it would be hiring 100,000 new employees in the US in response to the growing demand for its delivery services.
“We are opening 100,000 new full and part-time positions across the US in our fulfilment centres and delivery network to meet the surge in demand from people relying on Amazon's service during this stressful time, particularly those most vulnerable to being out in public,” the company explained in a post.
The company is also adding a pay raise to its hourly employees through April given their necessary services during the pandemic.
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