To Focus on Necessities, Amazon Stops Accepting Some Items in Warehouses

On Monday, Amazon announced in a news release that it would hire 100,000 new workers and raise pay by $2 an hour for many employees in response to a surge in delivery orders from people staying at home to combat the spread of the coronavirus. “We are seeing a significant increase in demand, which means our labor needs are unprecedented for this time of year,” the company said.

Consultants who work in e-commerce say it has taken longer to get shipments unloaded into Amazon’s fulfillment centers, where the company picks items and packages them to deliver to customers.

“Outside the warehouse, the trucks are getting backed up,” Mr. Hariharan said.

Normally, orders are processed the same day they are delivered this time of year, he said. But recently, some had taken as long as a week to get unloaded.

He said the large consumer brands he worked with, who sell products like aspirin, Lysol and Huggies, have seen sales 15 times higher than expected in the past two weeks. His clients have told him they are moving products they had planned to send to brick-and-mortar retailers to Amazon instead.

Some products, like webcams people use to work from home, have also seen a burst of sales, though they are being restricted now.

“This past week, sales have been just through the roof on Amazon,” said Greg Mercer, who runs Jungle Scout, a popular data service for Amazon sellers. He said sales were like what they would see during Black Friday or Prime Day, major events sellers and Amazon heavily anticipate.

On products Amazon has deemed nonessential, “customers will see decreased selection on Amazon because of the stock outs,” he said. He also expected that some sellers will ship directly to customers, rather than use Amazon’s infrastructure. Shipping on their own can be more expensive, so he said consumers were likely to see higher prices.

The Amazon emails were reported earlier by Business Insider.

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