Amazon Strains to Meet Demand

Amazon isn’t accepting new grocery customers while it strains to meet current demand.

If you’re not already a customer of Amazon’s grocery delivery services, offered through Amazon Fresh or its Whole Foods supermarkets, you’ll now have to wait your turn to become one.

In a post to its blog yesterday, the company announced some new policies to mitigate the problems it’s facing from the overwhelming demand it has experienced during the Covid-19 outbreak, combined with limits in its warehouses from following social-distancing and safety protocols. For the time being, new customers for grocery delivery have to sign up for an invitation. Amazon is also launching a feature for existing customers to secure a place in line for delivery on a first-come, first-served basis.

The decision to make anyone wait in line to become an Amazon customer is a notable shift for a company engineered to draw in new shoppers (Quartz member exclusive) and get them hooked on its ecosystem of services. But Amazon already risks alienating current subscribers of its Prime membership program as cracks appear in its normally fast and efficient delivery and logistics network.

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