All your jobs are belong to us... Amazon is hiring 75,000 people but if you want US home groceries, tough luck

Nice to see Jeff Bezos catching a break


Sure, the planet may be in the sort of crisis not seen in over a century, but it is a great time to be Amazon.

The internet's retail goliath is looking to hire 75,000 new people amid soaring demand for delivery services as much of the world remains on lockdown from coronavirus. You too can get the chance to piss in bottles to secure your employer's space dreams.

"On March 16, we announced Amazon would invest over $350m globally to increase pay for our teams during the coronavirus pandemic and would hire an additional 100,000 people in full and part-time jobs across our operations network to keep as many people as possible working during this crisis," Amazon humblebrags.

"We are proud to announce that our original 100,000 jobs pledge is filled and those new employees are working at sites across the US helping to serve customers. We continue to see increased demand as our teams support their communities, and are going to continue to hire, creating an additional 75,000 jobs to help serve customers during this unprecedented time."

The positions, all warehouse jobs, are being pitched in part as short-term work for people whose vocations have been hardest hit by the sudden stop in all social activities. With new jobless claims in the US topping 16 million, there is no shortage of applicants.

"We know many people have been economically impacted as jobs in areas like hospitality, restaurants, and travel are lost or furloughed as part of this crisis and we welcome anyone out of work to join us at Amazon until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back," Amazon says of the temp jobs.

Not so fast

In fact, things are going so well for Amazon that it is having to stem the flow of new customers from its Whole Foods upscale grocery business.

Those wanting to get in on Amazon's direct-to-home grocery delivery biz will have to queue up, as new customers are going to be doled out carefully. Despite what it says is a 60 per cent boost in capacity, Amazon can't keep up with the demand for new punters.

"We are 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.

"We’re increasing capacity each week and will invite new customers to shop every week."

Now, customers will have to sign up for a virtual "shopping time" where they can claim their groceries and schedule a delivery.

"We still expect the combination of restricted capacity due to social distancing and customer demand will continue to make finding available delivery windows challenging for customers," Amazon warns.

"To help, in the coming weeks, we will launch a new feature that will allow customers to secure 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."

Expect a rather crazy quarterly number from Amazon later this month. While El Reg regularly jokes that the Bezos bunch is a "cloud compute biz with a gift shop on the side," Amazon's retail business turns in revenues of around $60bn, and that's during a normal, non-pandemic period.

With new hires reaching into the six figures and grocery demand outstripping supply, the coming quarter is likely to be a bounty. ®


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