Amazon has announced that it will prioritise the stocking of medical supplies and household staples in an effort to cope with the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Hoping to free-up space for these items, the ecommerce giant instructed its third-party sellers, many of whom use the company’s logistics facilities, to stop sending non-essential items to its British and American warehouses until 5 April.
Third-party vendors and wholesalers selling baby products, beauty and personal care, grocery, industrial and scientific, health and household and pet supplies will still be allowed to use Amazon’s services.
Trade Amazon.com Inc - AMZN CFD
A spokesperson for Amazon stated: “We understand this is a change for our selling partners and appreciate their understanding as we temporarily prioritise these products for customers.”
The novel coronavirus outbreak has triggered a fall in the company’s share price of more than 16 per cent in the past month as part of the market-wide sell-off. However, with millions of Americans and Europeans in effective lockdown, Amazon has seen a surge in orders.
The world’s largest online retailer has announced that it will hire a further 100,000 full and part-time workers in the United States alone in order to meet the growing demand.
Meanwhile, workers at Amazon’s UK warehouses are being told to work overtime in order to help the company hope. The GMB union’s national officer has criticised the company for “imposing its demands on workers without any regard for their safety.”
Discussing the company’s new approach, an Amazon spokesperson stated: “As demand continues to increase, we are working to ensure we can continue to deliver to the most-impacted customers while keeping our people safe. Many of these customers have no other way to get essential items and we want to be sure that we have the right resources in place to deliver on their needs.”
Amazon stock gained 7 per cent in Tuesday trading to close at $1,807.84, thanks in part to the surge in demand but also to market intervention by the White House and Federal Reserve.