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Amazon Stops Accepting Non-Essential Items at Its Warehouses

By Danny Vena - Mar 17, 2020 at 11:54AM

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Coronavirus is impacting many facets of everyday life -- even for the e-commerce giant.

Amazon.com (AMZN 3.15%) is suspending all shipments of non-essential items to its warehouses in an effort to free up space for common household products. Sellers on the company's digital sales platform received a message on Tuesday informing them that Amazon is seeing a surge of online shopping as the result of the outbreak of illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus and is being forced to make changes to existing practices. 

Because of the unprecedented demand, Amazon is running out of products consumers need on a daily basis, such as household staples and medical supplies, and the company has been warning customers that delivery times will be longer than usual. The move is designed to free up space in the warehouses for these high-demand products.

A woman smiling picking packages at an Amazon warehouse.

Image source: Amazon.

The company detailed five categories that it deemed "essential" that it would continue accepting at its warehouses: baby products, health and household, grocery, beauty and personal care, pet supplies, and industrial and scientific.

This comes in the wake of an announcement yesterday that Amazon plans to hire as many as 100,000 more full-time and part-time workers for its fulfillment centers and warehouses. The company is also looking for additional delivery drivers and is also planning to give raises to existing staff in order to meet the unparalleled demand

Amazon has encouraged workers in other industries and those who face layoffs as the result of widespread shutdowns to apply. "We want those people to know we welcome them on our teams until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back," the company said.

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