Amazon‘s (NASDAQ: AMZN) one- and two-day delivery, which disappeared during the COVID-19 pandemic, will return in the coming weeks as the eCommerce giant begins to accept more third-party products in its warehouses, Bloomberg reports.
At the outset of the pandemic in the U.S., Amazon started prioritizing essential goods, pushing back delivery times for items not necessary to stay safe and fed during the pandemic. That has resulted in delivery delays of several weeks for some products, not the normal one- to two-day delivery times millions of Prime customers have gotten used to.
That hasn’t stopped sales from booming during the pandemic, with many stores shuttered due to social distancing rules. It has also frustrated loyal shoppers, who were forced to look elsewhere when faced with long delivery times.
But that’s starting to change. As of Sunday, the tech stock began accepting normal levels of inventory in its warehouses. “We removed quantity limits on products our suppliers can send to our fulfillment centers,” Amazon spokeswoman Kristen Kish told Bloomberg. “We continue to adhere to extensive health and safety measures to protect our associates as they pick, pack, and ship products to customers, and are improving delivery speeds across our store.” Late last month Amazon began asking warehouse workers to show up for scheduled shifts in May or take an unpaid leave of absence.
Getting shipments back to normal is important to protect Amazon’s reputation and its business, but it’s a balancing act for the e-commerce giant. Amazon has been accused of failing to do enough to protect its warehouse and delivery workers. In response, Amazon has pointed to safety measures, including checking employee temperatures, distributing millions of masks, enforcing social distancing rules in warehouses, and working to develop its own COVID-19 test.
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