LOS ANGELES - Amazon announced on Tuesday that it would begin putting delays on non-essential items in order to combat the shortages and high demand that has been caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This has resulted in some of our delivery promises being longer than usual," the company wrote in a press release.
The e-commerce site said that the company has begun changing logistics, transportation, supply chains and purchasing in order to “ensure the safety of our associates.”
Amazon added that it has also asked “third-party seller processes to prioritize stocking and delivering items that are a higher priority for our customers.”
The company explains in a disclaimer on their site that they have marked certain items as guaranteed with fast delivery speeds, but it appears that many non-essential items like phone cases or other accessories will take as long as a month to deliver.
FILE - An Amazon delivery driver wearing a protective mask carries a package. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)
As panicked people around the world rushed to stock up on necessities as the coronavirus continued to spread, various household items including hand sanitizer and toilet paper became hot commodities, and last week it appeared that Amazon had completely sold out of toilet paper.
Now, when searching for toilet paper, it appears that Amazon is offering the item in bulk with many listings selling a minimum of 10 rolls per order, but many recognizable brands like Charmin remain out of stock with most delivery dates appearing to be as late as a month away.
Amazon has not returned a request for comment on what they regard as “essential” items.
The news comes after the company announced that it is looking to hire over 100,000 employees across the U.S. to meet the high demand during the COVID-19 crisis.
The online retailer said it will also temporarily raise pay by $2 an hour through the end of April for hourly employees. That includes workers at its warehouses, delivery centers and Whole Foods grocery stores, all of whom make at least $15 an hour. Employees in the United Kingdom and other European countries will get a similar raise.
“We are seeing a significant increase in demand, which means our labor needs are unprecedented for this time of year,” said Dave Clark, who oversees Amazon’s warehouse and delivery network.
Amazon said this weekend that a surge of orders is putting its operations under pressure. It warned shoppers that it could take longer than the usual two days to get packages. The company also said it was sold out of many household cleaning supplies and is working to get more in stock.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.