One day before Amazon announced it was suspending all shipments of non-essential items to its warehouses amid the coronavirus pandemic, the online retailer announced it would be opening 100,000 new full and part-time jobs across the U.S. in order to handle increased demand caused by the health crisis.
"Getting a priority item to your doorstep is vital as communities practice social-distancing, particularly for the elderly and others with underlying health issues," the company said in an announcement Monday. "We are seeing a significant increase in demand, which means our labor needs are unprecedented for this time of year." The announcement continued, "We are opening 100,000 new full and part-time positions across the U.S. in our fulfillment centers 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."
As an incentive for employment, Amazon will also be offering an extra $2/hour per hour worked through April to its warehouse employees.
Tuesday, the company sent a memo to sellers that it would be prioritizing medical supplies, household staples and other high-demand products for the global pandemic until April 5. Customers will still be able to order non-essential items from Amazon as long as they remain in warehouses.
"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 email sent to sellers reads.
Amazon also gave sellers a list of six categories of products that will still be accepted at fulfillment centers despite the restrictions — baby products, health and household products, beauty and personal care products, groceries, industrial and scientific products and pet supplies.
"For products other than these, we have temporarily disabled shipment creation," the memo reads. "We are taking a similar approach with retail vendors. ...Shipments created before today will be received at fulfillment centers."
For the latest information on COVID-19 and best practices for minimizing its spread, consult the CDC's website.
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