Amazon has temporarily closed its Prime Pantry delivery service as it faces a surge in orders tied to the coronavirus outbreak.
A notice at the top of the Prime Pantry website Thursday read: “Pantry is temporarily closed. We are busy restocking.” The service gives Prime subscribers access to discounted grocery and household items, which they can then have delivered to their door.
As online shopping soars due to the coronavirus outbreak, Amazon made the decision to temporarily close Prime Pantry, according to a report by CNBC Thursday (March 19).
A notice posted by Amazon on its Prime Pantry page said the service is temporarily closed and the company is “busy restocking.” Prime subscribers use Prime Pantry for the fast delivery of food and household goods.
Amazon has sought to address logistics and inventory issues in a number of ways. The company announced it would hire 100,000 new warehouse and delivery workers to keep up with the surge in demand from shoppers. Amazon also told third-party sellers it’s “temporarily prioritizing” shipments of household staples and medical supplies at its fulfillment centers. The change went into effect on Tuesday and is expected to last through April 5.
“Due to high order volumes, Pantry is not accepting new orders at this time,” the notice stated. “This means that items listed as ‘Ships & Sold from Pantry’ cannot be added to your cart. We apologize for this inconvenience and are working with our partners to get these items back in stock as quickly as possible.”
Prime Pantry, which launched in 2014, offers Prime members a range of non-perishable grocery items, such as cereal, pasta sauce and snacks, as well as household essentials like dish soap and paper towels. Amazon requires shoppers to spend $35 or more to qualify for free shipping on orders. Otherwise, shoppers pay $5.99 for shipping. Prime Pantry sources its products from a range of different grocery and consumer goods vendors.
Amazon’s same-day and next-day grocery delivery services have also been hit with delays as shoppers have turned to online retailers amid product shortages at physical stores.
Prime Now and Amazon Fresh delivery windows remain scarce or, in some areas, unavailable for several days. Prime Now shows a notice warning shoppers of limited delivery availability in their area.
The company’s main website has also suffered from delays and low inventory in recent days. Last week, Amazon warned some Prime “delivery promises are longer than usual.” It also ran out of stock of popular household items, such as toilet paper and bottled water.
According to the note, shoppers can still find household staples and other essentials at Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods as well as in the grocery and household category, but “due to high demand, other stores may have limited availability and delivery.”