Amazon suspends shipments of non-essential items to US by one month

Amazon considers baby products, health and household items, beauty and personal care, groceries, industrial, scientific and pet supplies as essential products.

Boxes ready to be loaded onto a delivery truck move along a conveyor belt at the Amazon fulfilment centre in Baltimore (photo credit: REUTERS)
Boxes ready to be loaded onto a delivery truck move along a conveyor belt at the Amazon fulfilment centre in Baltimore
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Amazon is delaying shipments of non-essential items to the United States for up to one month. During the delay, the e-commerce giant will be prioritizing deliveries of medical supplies and basic household items in an attempt to get a handle on customer demand as a  result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Merchants and customers took to social media on Sunday to note that shipments of some "non-essential" products were showing April 21 delivery dates, even though these items are listed as fully in-stock.
Prime deliveries, which normally arrive within one to two business days, are now showing delivery waiting times ranging from five business days to one month.
“To serve our customers in need while also helping to ensure the safety of our associates, we’ve changed our logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and third-party seller processes to prioritize stocking and delivering items that are a higher priority for our customers,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. “This has resulted in some of our delivery promises being longer than usual.”
Last week, Amazon noted that it would start creating these protocols on non-essential items such as coffee makers, electronics, toys, puzzles, etc.

Amazon considers baby products, health and household items, beauty and personal care, groceries and industrial, scientific and pet supplies as essential products.
“We are seeing increased online shopping and as a result, some products such as household staples and medical supplies are out of stock,” an Amazon spokesperson told Gizmodo in an email last week. “With this in mind, we are temporarily prioritizing household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products coming into our fulfillment centers so we can more quickly receive, restock, and deliver these products to customers.”

Amazon stopped shipping non-essential products to consumers in Italy and France, the company said on Saturday, representing a separate escalation in the e-commerce giant’s response in regions hard hit by the coronavirus outbreak.
An Amazon spokesman said the company made the decision due to a spike in orders and the need to respect anti-coronavirus safety measures in the workplaces.
“We will temporarily stop taking orders on some non-essential products on Amazon.it and Amazon.fr,” Amazon.com said in a statement. “This lets fulfillment center associates focus on receiving and shipping the products customers need most at this time.”
The world’s largest online retailer said consumers in Italy and France can still order non-essential products from sellers on Amazon who do not use Amazon logistics to fulfill and ship orders, but deliveries could take longer.
More than 274,800 people have been infected with coronavirus across the world and 11,389 have died, according to a Reuters tally. In Italy, the death toll rose by 18.4% on Friday, reaching 4,032. France reported 78 new deaths on Friday, reaching a total of 450.
Both countries have announced lock down orders to slow the spread of the virus.
The move comes on the heels of actions Amazon took on Tuesday when it said it will only receive vital supplies at its US and UK and other European warehouses until April 5 to free up inventory space for medical and household goods.
Reuters contributed to this report.


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