Amazon Pushes Pause on New Online Grocery Customers

They will be placed on a waiting list for 'invitations,' company says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2020 2:51 PM CDT
Amazon Pushes Pause on New Online Grocery Customers
A delivery of groceries from Whole Foods is dropped at a customer's apartment door by Amazon Prime during the coronavirus pandemic, Thursday, April 2, 2020, in New York.   (AP Photo/Pamela Hassell)

People who want to start using Amazon's grocery delivery services are going to have to wait, the company says. In a blog post Sunday, the company cited "unprecedented demand" and said new Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods delivery customers would have to "wait for an invitation to use" online grocery delivery and pickup, NBC News reports. The company said it is working on adding capacity and plans to hire another 75,000 workers. "If you are able to do so safely, we kindly encourage our customers who can to shop in-person," Amazon said, though shopping hours at some Whole Food stores have been shortened to give workers more time to deal with online orders.

Amazon said it plans to invite more customers to use its online grocery service week-by-week as capacity grows, reports NPR. It said that in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, it has expanded online access to food assistance benefits in Alabama, Iowa, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, and Washington, and is working on adding more states to the list. Amazon said it is also carrying out "daily employee temperature checks and distributing masks and gloves across our Amazon and Whole Foods Markets stores." After coronavirus cases in around 50 Amazon fulfillment centers and several Whole Food stores, workers said the company was not doing enough to keep them safe, Reuters reports. (More Amazon stories.)

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