Amazon stops accepting new online grocery customers amid surging demand
NEW YORK: Amazon will begin to put new grocery delivery customers on a wait list and curtail shopping hours at some Whole Foods stores to prioritize orders from existing customers buying food online during the coronavirus outbreak, the company said on Sunday.
Many shoppers recently seeking to purchase groceries from the Seattle-based e-commerce company found they could not place orders due to a lack of available delivery slots. Amazon said it would have to relegate all new online grocery customers to a wait list starting Monday while working on adding capacity each week. In recent weeks, it increased the number of Whole Foods stores offering grocery pickup to more than 150 locations, up from 80 previously. Amazon also plans to shorten some Whole Foods stores’ hours for the public so its employees can more quickly fulfill online grocery orders, the company said. The moves illustrates how the world’s largest online retailer, which showed its ambition to enter the grocery industry by acquiring Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in August 2017. - Reuters