As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to rise among citizens and residents of the United States, Amazon had stopped the purchase of grocery from it’s e-commerce store because there was a lack of delivery slots available.
Amazon said it would have to relegate all new online grocery customers to a wait list starting Monday while working on adding capacity each week. Meanwhile the company had recently increased the number of Whole Foods store offering grocery pickup to more than 150 locations which is an increase from its previous 80 locations.
Aside that, the company also plans to shorten some Whole Foods stores’ hours for the public so its employees can more quickly fulfill online grocery orders, the company said. As a matter of fact, Amazon tried to show it’s prowess by entering into the grocery business after the Whole Food acquisition back in August 2017 for a US$13.7 billion.
Being one of the biggest e-retailing store on the planet, Amazon has to manage mammoth orders from people and deliver those orders everyday as majority of it’s customers are stuck in their homes due to the pandemic and people of course needs food to survive.
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The grocery delivery from the company are from it’s services such as the Amazon Fresh and Amazon Prime as well as both it’s Whole Food stores and it’s own original warehouse. It typically touts ultra-fast delivery within hours, with shoppers able to choose a delivery window. Last month, Amazon temporarily suspended the Prime Pantry delivery service, which sells non-perishable groceries.
According to a recent statement from the company, it announced an increase in grocery order which had grown more than 60% during the outbreak. Meanwhile the Amazon Prime customers till complained on social media about the scarcity of delivery windows.
And as demands grow through the roof, Amazon said it’s trying hard to hire more workers to help fulfill these deliveries as well as planning to launch a new feature which will help customers secure a virtual “Place in line” in order to distribute the delivery windows on a first come, first served regimen. It also offered higher pay to encourage its warehouse workers to work for its grocery delivery service.
As of now, the company runs some 487 Whole Foods store throughout the United States and just as the government had ordered, Amazon had been limiting the number of shoppers within these stores at once while the company also claimed to do a daily temperature checks on its employee while giving them protective gears such as face masks and hand gloves.
But the company still has plans to open another store in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles meanwhile this is being held to be an e-commerce store for now due to the pandemic.
Though the company claims to protect it’s workers and offer them higher pay to further entice them, the workers in turn have protested about how they’re not being protected enough and that in fact led to the firing of an employee this past week. And over 50 Amazon fulfillment centers and several Whole Foods stores had confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to multiple reports.
“We still expect the combination of restricted capacity due to social distancing and customer demand will continue to make finding available delivery windows challenging for customers,” Stephenie Landry, vice president of Grocery at Amazon, wrote in a blogpost. “If you are able to do so safely, we kindly encourage our customers who can to shop in-person.”