Amazon.com (AMZN) - Get Report said new delivery customers of its Whole Foods unit will now be placed on a waiting list and that store hours will be cut in some locations to fulfill online orders from current customers.
All this stems from the coronavirus, which has sparked huge demand for groceries, as Americans are forced to stay home.
Whole Foods customers recently have had trouble placing delivery orders because delivery slots weren’t available. That’s why Amazon is relegating new customers to a waiting list. In the meantime, the Seattle online retail giant said it’s pushing hard to add capacity.
“While we have increased order capacity by more than 60% due to covid-19, we still expect the combination of restricted capacity due to social distancing and customer demand will continue to make finding available delivery windows challenging for customers,” Stephenie Landry, vice president of grocery for Amazon, wrote on the company’s blog.
“To help, in the coming weeks, we will launch a new feature that will allow customers to secure time to shop. This feature will give delivery customers a virtual ‘place in line’ and will allow us to distribute the delivery windows on a first-come, first-served basis. Simultaneously, we will continue to add capacity as swiftly as possible."
She urged consumers to do their shopping in stores if possible.
Amazon shares at last check were little changed around $2,045. The stock dipped 0.64% Thursday. It has gained 8.5% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 dropped 14.6%. Online purchases have exploded during the coronavirus pandemic.