Amazon has temporarily suspended fulfillment of non-essential items through its Fulfillment by Amazon service for third-party sellers through April 5 due to high coronavirus-related demand for medical supplies and essentials, the company said.
“We are seeing increased online shopping and as a result some products such as household staples and medical supplies are out of stock,” Amazon said in a Seller Central blog post. “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 ship these products to customers.”
For non-essential products, Amazon said, “we have temporarily disabled shipment creation. We are taking a similar approach with retail vendors.” Orders placed earlier will be fulfilled, Amazon said.
Priority items include baby, health and household, beauty and personal care, grocery, industrial and scientific and pet supplies categories, according to Amazon.
At least 53% of Amazon sellers will be affected by the freeze of non-essential products, and approximately 94% of third-party Amazon sellers sell through FBA, according to Amazon seller platform Jungle Scout.
Major DTC brands including Glossier, Allbirds, Cuyana, Patagonia and Warby Parker were among the first to close their stores late last week amid worsening fears and shutdowns in response to the growing coronavirus outbreak, according to reports.
This was followed quickly by more traditional retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Nike and Urban Outfitters, according to Business Insider, as mall traffic dries up and companies move to protect their own workers.
At the same time, ecommerce is booming while shutdowns and bunkering become a reality for millions globally. This is causing extreme stress on supply chains, with even Amazon warning customers of delivery delays for everyday items in high demand. Amazon says it plans to hire an additional 100,000 workers and boost pay by $2 an hour to address the crush.
In addition, Amazon had its first report of five workers diagnosed with COVID-19, in Spain and Italy.
Read the full article in Multi Channel Merchant.