In this episode of Retail Right Now, Kristina Stidham and Ashley Chiaradio discuss Amazon.com's announcement that certain nonessential items will be de-prioritized and could take one month or longer to be delivered to customers. Amazon Prime members, who are used to getting their orders in two days or less, are facing a new reality as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads. The e-commerce giant also announced that it will be prioritizing shipments of medical supplies and household supplies, along with other high demand products, as it deals with increased workloads for its employees as a result of the outbreak. Amazon said in a statement to Recode that in order to serve its customers who are in need and to ensure the safety of its employees, the company has changed its logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and third-party seller processes to re-prioritize, which has resulted in some longer than usual delivery times.
Amazon has seen a huge surge in orders now that shoppers are unable to go to many retail stores. With Amazon re-prioritizing its orders, customers are still going to want certain items faster, so they may look elsewhere for products — which creates opportunity for other third-party sellers. Amazon will be hiring 100,000 people to work in its distribution facilities to help keep up with the demand.
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