Update: Amazon appears to be normalizing operations following an unprecedented demand surge during lockdowns. We noted earlier, normal delivery times for many of its products will be gradually seen over the next couple of weeks. Now it appears the company will revert pay for many of its workers back to pre-corona times after May 30.
Amazon warehouse workers saw a $2 per hour wage increase during the coronavirus pandemic. Since online sales could be subsiding as lockdowns are being lifted in many states, the company will halt temporary overtime pay rise in June.
The question remains -- What happens to the +100k workers the company added during the height of the pandemic? As states reopen, does that mean Amazon will lay off excess workers?
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There is good news this morning for anyone who has been absolutely fed up with Amazon delaying one- and two-day delivery times for specific products. Bloomberg says regular delivery service will be restored this month as the online retailer catches up with orders after an unprecedented demand surge thanks to everyone ordering products via the e-commerce platform during lockdowns.
Amazon notified suppliers Sunday that they can begin shifting more inventory into its warehouses and will gradually shorten the delivery time for products that were restricted during the last several months because they were deemed non-essential during the pandemic.
"We removed quantity limits on products our suppliers can send to our fulfillment centers," Amazon spokeswoman Kristen Kish told Bloomberg in an email. "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."
Anthony Ferry, CEO of PriceSpider, said the online retailer was overwhelmed by orders in April, which led the company to discontinue its rapid delivery service for many products. He said this forced many Amazon members to use curbside pickup programs of their local supermarkets, Walmart, Target, and other big-box retailers because it was much faster.
"Loyal Amazon shoppers left the site when they saw long delivery times or items were out of stock," Ferry said. "Buy-online pickup-in store has become a much more enticing and desirable solution when people want something now."
Juozas Kaziukenas, the founder of Marketplace Pulse, a research firm that continuously monitors trends on the Amazon site, said long delivery times in a post-corona world infuriated many Amazon members. Delivery times that use to take one or two days were pushed out to a week or even several. Members left more than 800,000 negative reviews on the online retailer's site in April, mostly complaining about shipping times.
"Amazon is known for great selection, low prices and fast shipping," Kaziukenas said. "These all broke during the pandemic. Selection was not always there, prices were not lowest because Amazon sold out, and fast shipping was gone."
To meet unprecedented demand, Amazon hired over 100,000 new workers for its warehouses since about mid-March, which is around the time most of the country descended into lockdowns. Consumers were left with very few shopping options over the last month, most of them went to Amazon and or other e-commerce platforms to panic hoard products.