Amazon is gearing up its business in “non-essential” products, allowing Fulfilled-by-Amazon retailers to resume sending products to its warehouses and hiring another 75,000 employees on top of the 100,000 it recently added, according to the Wall Street Journal. The resumption of incoming shipments for its FBA retailer clients begins this week, according to the report, with limits on quantities to prevent overcrowding at Amazon warehouses.
Amazon ended incoming shipments of non-essential items to its warehouses from third-party sellers and from its own suppliers nearly a month ago, as it became clear that household essentials were going to require nearly all of Amazon’s massive U.S. logistics network during the coronavirus lockdowns (see “Amazon Ends Non-Essential Incoming Shipments”).
Lengthy shipping delays from Amazon on many geek culture products, including graphic novels, are now typical. We’ve also noticed that on key hobby game titles, third-party sellers doing their own fulfillment are now often the only offerings on Amazon; Amazon is sold out of its own stock, and FBA resellers are also sold out of inventory at Amazon’s warehouses.
The Journal report did not indicate that Amazon was also beginning to accept shipments on non-essential products from its own suppliers, but the cutoffs happened in tandem, so it seems likely that Amazon will now begin taking in inventory from its own suppliers as well as for its FBA retailer clients.
The company is hiring another 75,000 employees, according to the report, on top of the 100,000 it hired in recent weeks since the onset of the coronavirus crisis. With additional staffing, Amazon will be able top push more product through its distribution centers, and attempt to capture some of the demand that’s been going to competitors Walmart, BN.com, and smaller companies either selling on their own or through Amazon with their own logistics (see “In Chaos, Graphic Novel Business Goes On”). The 175,000 in coronavirus employees are on top of Amazon’s baseline staff of around 500,000, similar to the hiring that takes place for the holiday season.