CNet reports that Amazon is once again taking new e-grocery customers, mostly ending the waitlist for new online food shoppers that it created a month ago as it found its systems stressed by the pandemic and shifting customer needs.
"We've removed the invite list in most cities, and more than 80% of eligible Prime members are able to shop without requesting an invitation," an Amazon spokeswoman said in a statement. "We continue inviting new customers every week."
The story notes that the move comes as "Amazon confirmed it was speeding up its delivery times, following long delays, and was able to manage more goods coming into its warehouses. All these changes point to Amazon now slowly moving back to more normal operations, after it struggled to respond to a surge in customer orders and factor in 150 new safety protocols for its workers during the pandemic."
Meanwhile, Fox Business reports that Amazon is converting yet another of its Whole Foods stores to a so-called "dark store" that does delivery online to online shoppers.
The story says that "so far, the company has converted five stores in its New York City (Bryant Park), San Francisco (SOMA), Baltimore, Austin, Texas, and Castle Rock, Colorado, locations. Additionally, Whole Foods will shut the doors of its DePaul store in Chicago and convert it to online delivery only effective Wednesday at 4 p.m. central time."
“With stay-at-home orders in place, customers have generated unprecedented demand for grocery delivery," a spokesperson for Whole Foods Market said. "As we navigate the challenges associated with COVID-19, we continue to find ways to increase delivery availability while navigating safety measures and social distancing.”
- KC's View:
It isn't so much how Amazon responded to the pandemic. The real question is what Amazon learned from the many mistakes it made … and the betting here is that it learned a lot.