Amazon announced on Tuesday that it will be suspending all non-essential shipments to its warehouse until April 5, a big move for the online retailer. Business Insider reports that Amazon is blocking third-party sellers from shipping non-essential products to its warehouses in response to the increased number of sales the retailer is seeing in response to the coronavirus, which has led many people to either self-quarantine or be ordered to do so.
The company shared the news with its vendors in an email on Tuesday.
The message shared that Amazon will currently only accept "high-demand products" due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"We are seeing increased online shopping, and as a result some products such as household staples and medical supplies are out of stock," the email said. "With this in mind, we are temporarily prioritizing household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products coming into our fulfillment centers so that we can more quickly receive, restock, and deliver these products to customers."
The new mandate does not affect last-mile shipments of those products to consumers but means that sellers who use Amazon's storage and delivery network for a fixed fee will no longer be able to ship non-essential products to the company. In addition, first-party vendors who wholesale their products will also see similar changes.
After the news was announced, Amazon customers immediately began reacting on social media. Some were worried about the potential ramifications of the decision on their purchasing habits.
Amazon suspending deliveries. Just when you thought today couldn't get worse.— Erika K Nardini (@EKANardini) March 17, 2020
Nooooooooooo— Ria (@BarstoolRia) March 17, 2020
Others understood the company's decision in the wake of the pandemic.
Good move. There's no immediate pressure for anyone to get their new shoes or belts.— Robert James (@RobertJames113) March 17, 2020
Good ethical practice in the face of #coronavirus— manav (@manavjivan) March 17, 2020
Some had jokes.
Got my pop tarts just in time— 𝕬∴𝕬∴ DESTROYER! DESTROYER! (@allyallyally_) March 17, 2020
It's important to clarify that Amazon is only suspending shipments to its warehouse, not shipments to customers. That means that the only things going to the warehouse are medical supplies and household staples. The decision was made after customers began buying high-demand items that quickly went out of stock. Independent merchants will still have the option to sell their products through Amazon but must find another warehouse to ship their products during the interim.
"Amazon is taking drastic measures to address logistical challenges faced amid the coronavirus pandemic," said Steven Yates, CEO of Prime Guidance, an agency that helps Amazon sellers. "Amazon has struggled to keep up with demand on essential items, so this move will allow them to focus more available resources to meet this increased demand."
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