Amazon Prime Delivery of Non-Essentials Can Now Take Up to a Month

COVID-19 prioritization of health supplies delays non-essentials

Why This Matters:

Amazon warned us it was changing how it would handle goods from its resellers, now consumers are feeling the pinch. The retailer probably won’t return to delivery as usual until this crisis is over.

Amazon Warehouse
The biggest game in town isn't always the best. Getty Images

Amazon Prime two-day delivery promise is, for all-intents and purposes, on hold for the foreseeable future and some shipments that normally might arrive within hours of ordering are now taking as long as a month. The changes are a direct result of Amazon’s efforts to handle the COVID-19 crisis.

Not business as usual. Amazon confirmed to Recode on Sunday that changes in its logistics, stocking, and supply chain systems to “serve our customers in need while also helping to ensure the safety of our associates,” is resulting in changes to their promised shipping schedules.

'We’re providing a vital service to people everywhere, especially to those, like the elderly, who are most vulnerable. People are depending on us.' — Jeff Bezos

We saw these changes coming. Last week, Amazon announced it was pausing shipments of non-essential products from third-party retail partners. That alone may be making it harder for Amazon to fulfill some orders.

Not just the oddball stuff. On Twitter, Amazon customers were complaining about the difficulty of getting regularly-ordered items, like cashews:

Not hiding anything. On Saturday Amazon CEO and Founder Jeff Bezos posted a COVID-19 update explaining, “We’ve changed our logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and third-party seller processes to prioritize stocking and delivering essential items like household staples, sanitizers, baby formula, and medical supplies. We’re providing a vital service to people everywhere, especially to those, like the elderly, who are most vulnerable. People are depending on us.”

It's not easy in the warehouse. Amazon’s human-filled warehouses sound like the prefect petri-dish for a COVID-19 breakout but, thus far, there’s only been one reported case in a Queens, NY, warehouse. Bezos says the company implemented increased cleaning procedures and social distancing in its warehouses and is working on getting more masks, but most are still being directed, and rightly so, to hospitals and clinics.

Bottom Line: With so many people forced to self-isolate, the ability to order essentials online and receive them in a timely manner is more important than ever. Bezos said the work Amazon does cannot be done from home and, in fact, encouraged those laid off from their current jobs to come work for him. However, they’ll likely be working to fulfill orders of critical supplies and not a new 4K TV.

Via: Recode

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