With many cities issuing protective orders due to the global coronavirus pandemic, officially known as COVID-19, and encouraging most regions to practice social distancing, food delivery services have become more popular as people try not to be busy Supermarkets to go. However, services have difficulty keeping up with demand. Now even the massive Amazon delivery service no longer accepts new customers.
According to Reuters, new customers who want to sign up for Amazon food deliveries using the Amazon Fresh and Amazon Prime Now services will be put on a waiting list starting today. Customers have reported issues with receiving space in the past few weeks, and Amazon is now formalizing its approach to the problem by restricting new customers. Work is underway to make more slots available by increasing capacity, and a queuing system is also being introduced to allow customers to reserve a delivery slot.
Amazon owns the Whole Foods supermarket chain, which offers both delivery and pick-up services. The company claims to have increased the number of Whole Foods stores that offer food collection from 80 to 150 locations. This should help reduce demand and keep customer contact to a minimum. In addition, opening times are reduced in some branches, so that employees can concentrate on fulfilling delivery orders instead of working in the store.
Amazon was struggling to meet demand for non-food deliveries, and there were delays in shipping non-essential goods. The company announced that it has changed its logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and third-party processes so that it can focus on fulfilling the highest priority items such as personal care, baby, pet, and food products. These delays are more apparent in some areas than in others, with delivery times varying across the country.
The recent crisis has also drawn attention to Amazon’s work practices. After some employees in their warehouses tested positive for COVID-19, employees complained that Amazon was not doing enough to protect them from infection by calling for “stand-up meetings” where the employees were closer to each other had to stand as recommended by medical experts and by not giving them enough time to wash their hands properly and maintain hygiene. US senators, including Bernie Sanders, have urged Amazon to do more to protect its workers.