Amazon is suspending shipments of all non-essential items to its UK and US warehouses until April 5, to make space for vital items needed during the coronavirus outbreak.
The US company is prioritising five categories of goods which it calls essential products, and which shippers can continue to send to its warehouses, including baby products, health and household, beauty and personal care, groceries, industrial and scientific, and pet supplies.
The Guardian reports that Amazon wrote to its third-party sellers – some of whom use the company’s logistics to store and dispatch their products – to inform them that stocks of medical supplies and certain household items are running low.
The online giant has said it is prioritising these categories in order to ‘quickly receive, restock, and ship these products to customers.’
It said: “We understand this is a change for our selling partners and appreciate their understanding as we temporarily prioritise these products for customers.”
The firm has also said that it will hire 100,000 full and part time workers across the US as it tries to meet growing demand from online shoppers who are staying at home during the outbreak.
The change means that aside from Amazon’s essential products, other items – including of course toys – may be more likely to be out of stock in the coming weeks, or that sellers may have to ship goods directly to consumers.