Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Amazon Will Start Letting Nonessentials Back Into Their Warehouses Later This Week

By Rhian Hunt - Apr 13, 2020 at 6:49PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Most of the company’s supply chain will continue processing food and healthcare for now.

Partly shedding the narrow focus on essential items it adopted in response to the coronavirus pandemic, (AMZN 3.15%) intends to start allowing deliveries of non-essential goods to its warehouses sometime later this week. To ensure essential products remain prioritized, and to help with worker safety measures, only limited quantities of nonessentials will be let back in initially.

Food and pantry items, pet food, products related to medical needs, and paper goods -- such as toilet paper and cleansing wipes -- were among the essentials Amazon allowed third-party sellers to sell for Amazon fulfillment during the past few weeks. Most warehouse space will continue to be allocated to these categories, but electronics, books, DVDs and CDs, sports equipment, and other products will start edging back in shortly.

Workers at a warehouse handling large volumes of toilet paper.

Image source: Getty Images.

Amazon's planned hiring of 75,000 more workers, on top of the 100,000 it already added during the pandemic, could help ease the transition back to more diversified offerings. These employees, many temporary, are needed to deal with a rush of orders resembling a busy holiday shopping season in volume, if not in actual items purchased. CommerceIQ says toilet paper sales alone shot up 186% from late February to late March.

The move could provide relief and sales for third-party sellers on Amazon, who typically make up more than half of its sales through e-commerce. About 36% of these merchants have been forced to adapt in various ways to the unprecedented circumstances, as reported by Internet Retailer research. Amazon employees are less pleased, fearing increased exposure to potential COVID-19 infection, including during the process of restocking items, with some workers complaining about the risks, according to Bloomberg.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned, Inc. Stock Quote, Inc.
$109.56 (3.15%) $3.35

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 07/04/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.