Amazon has announced it will temporarily stop accepting non-essential items at its warehouses in a bid to manage a surge in online orders brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The US retail giant will be prioritising household staples, medical supplies and other high demand products coming into its fulfilment centres.
The company said it will continue to take orders and ship items, but will give shoppers ordering items they don’t need immediately the opportunity to choose a No-Rush Shipping option. Amazon said the move will allow it to consolidate orders, make fewer deliveries, and serve customers with the most critical needs first.
Amazon said it is also working to ensure that no one “artificially raises prices on basic need products” during the Covid-19 pandemic and has already blocked or removed tens of thousands of items for this reason.
Additionally, the retailer said it has enhanced its daily cleaning procedures and has implemented additional nightly cleaning in its physical stores.
“We believe our role serving customers and the community during this time is a critical one, and we want to make sure our customers can get the items they need, when they need them,” the company said in a statement. “As Covid-19 has spread, we've recently seen an increase in people shopping online which has had an impact on how we serve our customers.”
The news comes in the same week Amazon announced it is hiring 100,000 new employees in the US to meet a surge in online orders.
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