Amazon has delayed the shipment of 'non-essential' items for up to a month

Posted at 8:49 AM, Mar 24, 2020

Amazon has begun delaying the delivery of some items it has deemed "non-essential" as the online retailer shifts its business strategy to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amazon confirmed to both CNET and Recode that those "non-essential" items would be delayed — sometimes for up to a month — in order to prioritize the delivery of household staples.

Last week, Amazon said it would only stock items in six essential categories in its warehouses through early April. Those categories include baby products, health and household, beauty and personal care, grocery, industrial and scientific and pet supplies.

The changes in supply were felt Monday when Prime shoppers discovered that some items that would typically arrive within one to two days could now not be delivered for about a month.

"To serve our customers while also helping to ensure the safety of our associates, we've changed our logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and third-party seller processes to prioritize stocking and delivering items that are a higher priority for our customers," an Amazon spokesperson told CNET on Monday. "This has resulted in some of our delivery promises being longer than usual."

In France and Italy, two countries where the spread of the virus has crippled shipping industry infrastructure, Amazon has stopped even taking orders for non-essential items.