Amazon suspending shipments of nonessential items to warehouses

Amazon is suspending shipments of nonessential items to its warehouses in the United States and United Kingdom following shortages triggered by the coronavirus outbreak.

“We are seeing increased online shopping and as a result some products such as household staples and medical supplies are out of stock,” a spokesperson for the online retail giant said in a statement to The Hill Tuesday. “With this in mind, we are temporarily prioritizing household staples, medical supplies and other high-demand products coming into our fulfillment centers so we can more quickly receive, restock and ship these products to customers.”

The freeze will be effective from Tuesday through April 5, according to Amazon, although an extension has not been ruled out.

Products already en route to facilities will still be accepted.

Limiting nonessential items is just one step Amazon has taken in response to increased demand for products to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. 

On Monday, Amazon announced it is planning to hire about 100,000 new employees.

The company also plans to raise wages from $15 to $17 per hour for workers at American locations. 

“We are seeing a significant increase in demand, which means our labor needs are unprecedented for this time of year,” Amazon’s senior vice president of operations, Dave Clark, wrote in a memo obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

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