With the world practicing social distancing and staying at-home to tackle global pandemic, consumers have been increasingly demanding online grocery products. To cope up with increasing demand, Amazon Inc., is putting new grocery delivery consumers on a waiting list and limiting shopping hours at a few Whole Foods stores to prioritize existing orders.
Sources cite that many customers who are purchasing groceries from the e-commerce giant found that they couldn’t place online orders due to a shortage of available delivery slots. To meet growing demand, recently, the company increased the number of Whole Foods stores delivering online grocery to over 150 locations, an increase from the previous 80.
Amazon is also planning to reduce some Whole Foods Stores’ hours for customers so its employees can quickly cater to online grocery orders. In the previous month, the company temporarily halted the Prime Pantry delivery service, which usually sells non-perishable grocery products.
This move highlights how Amazon, which acquired Whole Foods for USD 13.7 billion in the year 2017, is leveraging its strong presence of both physical stores and online stores to cater to high demand for grocery products from consumers.
According to the company, Amazon’s online grocery order capacity has surged over 60% during this global pandemic. The company is also recruiting more workers to strengthen capacity. It is also offering higher pay so as to motivate its warehouse employees to work for its online grocery delivery services.
Presently, Amazon operates 487 Whole Foods stores in America. These stores have been restricting the number of consumers allowed at once. The company also conducts daily temperature checks of employees and sends gloves and masks to protect workers.
Meanwhile, the first store of Amazon’s new grocery chain, which is expected to open in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, has temporarily transitioned into a warehouse for online grocery orders.