In what will be a big relief to third-party sellers, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is allowing them to ship items that were previously deemed non-essential amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amazon confirmed to The Wall Street Journal that, beginning this week, third-party sellers of items outside of health, wellness, and cleaning can send inventory to Amazon.
In March, the tech giant stopped accepting all shipments of non-essential items to ensure there was enough space in its warehouses for products consumers needed as they sheltered in place amid the pandemic. That move led to uncertainty among Amazon's third-party sellers which make up more than half of its sales.
"Later this week, we will allow more products into our fulfillment centers," an Amazon spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal. "Products will be limited by quantity to enable us to continue prioritizing products and protecting employees, while also ensuring most selling partners can ship goods into our facilities." The demand for essential items such as toilet paper and cleaning products has inundated Amazon, resulting in delays of as long as a month for certain items in some cases.
The latest move comes on the same day Amazon announced it will be hiring 75,000 more warehouse and delivery workers to meet the surging demand for its marketplace. That's in addition to the 100,000 it hired during the past four weeks. It also announced its spending more than $500 million to increase wages, boost safety at its facilities, and improve benefits for employees. In March Amazon vowed to spend $350 million on those efforts.