As millions of people are told to stay indoors amid coronavirus scares and grocery store shelves empty, Amazon is facing an unprecedented surge in online orders that's causing delivery delays and certain items to run out of stock. Despite several workers testing positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, its 110 U.S. warehouses largely remain open as it works to meet customer needs. Amazon is also hiring 100,000 new workers and halting the intake of any inventory besides high-demand products like household staples and medical supplies. For many of Amazon's third-party sellers, this means a big loss of business, while others face challenges as inventory is stuck in China.
"For anybody who's getting products out of China, there will continue to be this problem and quite frankly, unless companies are able to find secondary sources of supply very quickly, which is quite unrealistic, I think you're going to see some companies that have a very, very hard time keeping things going," said James Thomson, the former business head of Amazon Services.
Amazon also faces uncharted territory as it attempts to police its huge network of listings and sellers that's changing more rapidly than ever before, with profiteers attempting to price gouge or make false claims about preventing COVID-19.
Watch the video to find out how Amazon is handling the flurry of shoppers waiting for their orders, and what the pandemic means for sellers with inventory stuck in China, and for the warehouse workers and delivery drivers hustling to get Amazon packages out to those in need.