Amazon is out of stock of many household products due to the coronavirus pandemic, and low on many others. On Sunday, the company posted an update on its response to the global crisis and how it intends to help solve issues in its supply chain, as more people than ever are avoiding retail stores and ordering their goods online.
Like many other retailers, Amazon was hit with a deluge of orders recently due to the spread of COVID-19, the new strain of coronavirus. Experts recommend that people stay at home as much as possible and avoid crowded places, so many people have been stockpiling home goods and ordering things in bulk online. On Sunday, Amazon admitted that "in the short term this is having an impact on how we serve our customers." The company said that it is "working around the clock with our selling partners to ensure availability on all our products, and bring on additional capacity to deliver all of your orders."
For now, Amazon said that its "deliver promises are longer than usual," meaning that some customers can expect shipping delays. The company also added a notice on its marketplace website that reads: "Inventory and delivery may be temporarily unavailable due to increased demand. Confirm availability at checkout."
At the time of this writing, many top brands in household products like toilet paper, bottled water and all-purpose cleaners are out of stock. Even available products show a long wait for delivery, well over the company's usual one or two day-shipping options.
This was just one of many big announcements from Amazon in recent days as the company assesses the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its business. On Monday, the company announced a massive hiring initiative, hoping to bring on 100,000 new employees to help meet the demands of an increasingly isolated population, and to replace those workers who are out sick.
"We are seeing increased online shopping, and as a result some products such as household staples and medical supplies are out of stock," the company explained. "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."
"For products other than these, we have temporarily disabled shipment creation," it went on. "We are taking a similar approach with retail vendors."
For the latest information on COVID-19 and best practices for minimizing its spread, consult the CDC's website.