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This article was published on April 13, 2020

Amazon is pausing new grocery signups in the US amidst the coronavirus crisis (updated)

Amazon is pausing new grocery signups in the US amidst the coronavirus crisis (updated)
Ivan Mehta
Story by

Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

With more than half a million coronavirus cases registered in the US, people are confined to their homes and heavily dependent on online retailers to get their groceries.

However, if you were thinking of ordering something from Amazon Fresh or Whole Foods, you might have to wait a good while, as the company has decided to pause new grocery sign-ups for now. If you’ve already signed up for either of these apps, you’ll be able to order just like before.

[Read: Many of India’s IT employees are still working from offices amid coronavirus to keep the world turning]

A report from Reuters suggested that the ecommerce giant is putting new customers on a waitlist, and restricting operating hours at Whole Food outlets to clear out the backlog of existing orders.

While Amazon didn’t mention for how long it’s going to add new orders to a waitlist, it said it’ll add more capacity each week.

Last month, the company announced that it’s prioritizing essential items such as groceries, household staples, and medical supplies to match the rising demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The firm also said that it’s planning to hire an additional 100,000 workers to keep up with new orders.

While Amazon said its online grocery order capacity has increased by 60 percent, this new move suggests that’s not enough to fulfill consumer demands.

Update (13/04/2020): Amazon said its pausing new signups for grocery orders on Amazon Fresh and Whole Food apps. We’ve changed our headline to reflect that

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