Online retail giant Amazon said Tuesday it will partially suspend shipments through April 5 and will “temporarily prioritize” its shipping of essential items and other “high demand products” to its warehouses as a response to the coronavirus outbreak.
"We are seeing increased online shopping and as a result some products such as household staples and medical supplies are out of stock," Amazon said on its SellerCentral website.
"So, in the short term, we are making the decision to temporarily prioritize household staples, medical supplies and other high-demand products coming into our fulfillment centers," Amazon wrote in a blog post to customers, "so we can more quickly receive, restock and ship these products to customers."
For other products, Amazon said it has “temporarily disabled shipment creation" and will take a similar approach with retail vendors.
In its blog post updated on its site Tuesday, the Seattle-based company said it wants to be certain customers "can get the items they need, when they need them."
Amazon defined essential items that can be shipped to its Fulfillment by Amazon program as baby products, health and household items, beauty and personal care products (including personal care appliances), groceries, pet supplies and industrial and scientific items.
Amazon warned sellers that listing products in an inaccurate category is a violation of the company’s listing policies and could result in an account suspension. However, the tech company said products already in the company’s fulfillment centers can still be sold through its Fulfillment by Amazon program.
Shipments created before Tuesday will be received, Amazon wrote on its Central Seller website.
"We believe our role serving customers and the community during this time is a critical one, and we want to make sure our customers can get the items they need, when they need them," Amazon wrote in its blog post to customers.