Things are getting eerie now that people have started staying home to slow the spreading of the coronavirus. You may have noticed your favorite restaurant is only open for take-out orders or delivery. That’s happening across the country.
But it’s not just restaurants and bars that are losing business during this global pandemic. Retailers have also seen a huge decline in shoppers, which is why many brick and mortar stores are closing — at least until further notice. Stores like Apple, Abercrombie & Fitch, Fossil, Nike and more have all decided to shut down retail locations.
Luckily, most retailers sell their products online, so you can fill any needs as long as what you’re looking for is in stock. But that leads us to yet another problem. With such a huge influx of online shoppers, companies like Amazon are struggling to fulfill and deliver orders.
COVID-19 impacting online sales
If you’ve tried to buy some much-needed supplies through Amazon this week, you may have noticed something odd. Most everything is out of stock.
Not only are your local grocery store shelves empty, missing things like bottled water, toilet paper and hand sanitizer, but now Amazon is running out of these things, too.
Even worse, the things you are lucky enough to find still stocked on Amazon could take longer than normal to be delivered. Instead of one or two-day shipping, some orders are taking up to a week to reach consumers. And some orders can’t be fulfilled until next month, when items will finally back in stock.
The huge number of online shoppers has put a strain on Amazon’s system, which is why some deliveries have slowed to a crawl. In an effort to handle the increase in business, Amazon is making a few changes.
The company announced it will no longer allow third-party sellers to sell anything other than household staples and medical supplies in the U.S. and the European Union. A select number of “other high-demand products” will also be allowed. The company told third-party sellers the news through an email.
In that email, an Amazon spokesperson said:
“We are seeing increased online shopping and as a result, some products such as household staples and medial supplies are out of stock. 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.”
These new rules are in effect until at least April 5 but could be extended if we don’t see an improvement with COVID-19. Also, third-party sellers can continue selling stuff not on the approved list if their products aren’t shipped through an Amazon fulfillment center.
Ever wanted to work for Amazon? Now is the time
With online sales booming, Amazon is struggling to meet demand. That’s why the company is hiring 100,000 employees for its delivery and warehouse operations in the U.S.
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Not only that, but workers in its U.S. fulfillment centers will be paid a little extra through the end of April. Amazon normally pays $15 per hour for entry-level positions, but during this coronavirus pandemic it’s offering an extra $2 per hour.
Anyone who works for a company that has had to close shop over COVID-19 might want to look into Amazon. This could help them get through these troubled times. Just visit Amazon’s career page and search for openings in your area.