SAN FRANCISCO -- If you're just now thinking about signing up for Amazon's grocery delivery service, you may have to wait a while before you can actually use the service. Amazon says new Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market delivery customers will be added to a wait list.
Amazon made the announcement in a blog post, adding that they are "increasing capacity each week and will invite new customers to shop every week." The company says it is prioritizing existing customers during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Amazon says it has expanded Whole Foods Market grocery pickup from about 80 stores to more than 150 and plans to expand the service even more in the coming week. Hours at some Whole Foods locations are being adjusted to allow employees to focus on fulfilling online grocery orders.
Delivery windows have been hard to secure since the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread across the U.S. but Amazon says it is developing a system to make it easier to get groceries. They plan to introduce a new feature that will allow customers to book a time to shop. "This feature will give delivery customers a virtual 'place in line' and will allow us to distribute the delivery windows on a first come, first served basis," Amazon said in a blog post.
In a separate blog post, Amazon announced it has hired the 100,000 workers it promised last month to meet demand and claims it will hire an additional 75,000 people in the coming weeks.
Customers who shop at a Whole Foods Market location will noticed changes inside stores including: plexiglass barriers at cash registers, enhanced cleaning and enforcing social distancing guidelines. Reusable containers have been temporarily banned and hot food bars have been closed.