Amazon temporarily limits new digital grocery shoppers

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Customers who want to start ordering groceries online from Amazon and Whole Foods need to wait for an invitation.

In response to continuing heavy demand for online grocery delivery and pickup resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon is temporarily asking new Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market delivery and pickup customers to sign up for an invitation to use online grocery delivery and pickup. Amazon says it is increasing capacity each week and will invite new customers to shop every week.

In addition, Amazon is adjusting store hours for select Whole Foods Market locations so associates can focus exclusively on fulfilling online grocery orders during the pandemic. Amazon has also opened its new Woodland Hills, Calif. grocery store as a temporary online-only store, focused exclusively on fulfilling grocery delivery orders.

Other steps the omnichannel giant is taking in response to demand surge include working around the clock with suppliers to get the items it knows customers need back in stock as quickly as possible. Amazon is temporarily prioritizing pantry, household staples, and other high-demand products. And in order to serve more customers, Amazon is limiting the purchase quantities of high-demand items.