Amazon said its Fullfillment by Amazon (FBA) program will partially suspend shipments through April 5 to allow for the tech giant to prioritize products needed for the coronavirus pandemic shaking the globe.
“We are seeing increased online shopping and as a result some products such as household staples and medical supplies are out of stock,” Amazon said in a post to its SellerCentral website.
“With this in mind, we are temporarily prioritizing household staples, medical supplies and other high-demand products coming into our fulfillment centers so that we can more quickly receive, restock, and ship these products to customers.”
Amazon continued: “For products other than these, we have temporarily disabled shipment creation. We are taking a similar approach with retail vendors.”
The company added that shipments “created before today will be received at fulfillment centers.”
The Jeff Bezos-led company will prioritize products in the following categories: Baby Products, Health & Household, Beauty & Personal Care (including personal care appliances), Grocery, Industrial & Scientific and Pet Supplies.
Products that are not in those categories and already in the company’s fulfilment centers can still be sold via FBA. Amazon added that sellers are still able to sell other products on its platform, but they will have to fulfill the shipments themselves.
In addition to these measure, Amazon announced earlier this week it would hire approximately 100,000 warehouse workers to address the substantial demand it is seeing because of COVID-19.
Other tech companies are also pitching in to help with the coronavirus pandemic. Also on Tuesday, Facebook announced it would be providing $100 million worth of grants in an effort to help small businesses.
There have been 183,425 confirmed worldwide cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday morning. Of those, 4,661 have happened in the U.S.
By Chris Ciaccia