PARIS, FRANCE – SEP 28, 2018- Directly above view of New Amazon Cardboard box against yellow … [+] background. Amazon Prime is the online paid subscription service offered by Amazon.com web-commerce site
After last week’s Amazon Primed discussed Amazon’s plans to cure the common cold, Amazon had a busy week this week caused by the continued COVID-19 outbreak.
Amazon is suffering from building a successful eCommerce business in a Capitalist society that allows (or rather allowed) price gouging and…questionable people selling goods that aren’t fit for purpose. Where does the blame lay? There are bigger issue at hand but no doubt the issue will be debated. Amazon isn’t just sitting back though, the company is doing multiple things to ensure business as usual for themselves and others. The list includes: postponing the Prosper Show until August 2020, moving the Shareholder Meeting Online and canceling in-person Investor and protestors event and the re-MARS event.
Amazon also announced a $5m fund to help Seattle small businesses that are . TechCrunch has the story and the official press release is here.
Amazon, arguably, has some responsibility here. As the company established itself in these neighborhoods, the small businesses — including restaurants, food trucks, coffee shops, and retailers — followed. And when Amazon employees are directed to stay home, the surrounding economy suffers. If Amazon were not to help support the businesses, by the time the work from home policy was lifted, many of these businesses could be gone. “As we all adapt to the circumstances caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, we know that we have an important role to play in keeping our employees and residents safe and healthy, and in supporting the local businesses that are our neighbors,” wrote Amazon’s real estate chief John Schoettler, in a morning announcement. “This is a difficult time in our city, and we will continue to try to work with our community to get through it together,” he said.
Amazon also restricted the sale of masks and hand sanitiser from people who were price-gouging. Matt Colvin is now stuck with +17,700 bottles of hand sanitiser according to the New York Times after buying tons with the hopes of selling them on at a massive profit. Please email thoughts and prayers directly.
“It’s been a huge amount of whiplash,” he said. “From being in a situation where what I’ve got coming and going could potentially put my family in a really good place financially to ‘What the heck am I going to do with all of this?’” Mr. Colvin is one of probably thousands of sellers who have amassed stockpiles of hand sanitizer and crucial respirator masks that many hospitals are now rationing, according to interviews with eight Amazon sellers and posts in private Facebook and Telegram groups from dozens more. Amazon said it had recently removed hundreds of thousands of listings and suspended thousands of sellers’ accounts for price gouging related to the coronavirus.
Beyond this, Amazon employees are now, globally, on self-imposed lockdown until the end of March unless absolutely necessary to slow the spread of the virus. TechCrunch has the story.
“We continue to work closely with public and private medical experts to ensure we are taking the right precautions as the situation continues to evolve,” an Amazon spokesperson said in an email statement. “As a result, we are now recommending that all of our employees globally who are able to work from home do so through the end of March.” Earlier this week, Amazon said it would provide two weeks of extra paid time off for full and part-time employees who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine. The company said it will continue to pay all hourly employees, including food service, janitorial and security staff, who support its offices around the world. Amazon employs some 798,000 employees. While some Amazon office workers will be able to work from home, the vast majority of its workforce have jobs that require them to be on site. The company is reliant on tens of thousands of delivery drivers and employees who work at the more than 100 order fulfillment centers.
CORRECTION: Updated NYT story reference from Doug Strickland to Matt Colvin. Apologies for the error.
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