March 19, 2020 / 8:16 PM / in 4 months

Amazon halts grocery orders to restock amid surging demand

Small toy figures are seen in front of diplayed Amazon logo in this illustration taken March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) said on Thursday it has halted its Prime Pantry delivery service in the United States to restock groceries, following a surge in online orders by shoppers worried about the coronavirus pandemic.

“Amazon Pantry is not accepting new orders at this time while we work to fulfill open orders and restock items following increased demand,” a company spokesperson said.

The service, which sells non-perishable groceries from cereals to soaps, has seen huge demand despite consumers thronging supermarkets and grocery stores for everything from toilet papers and canned foods.

Amazon did not say when the service will be back, but said it was working with partners to get the items back in stock as quickly as possible.

The move comes after the company resorted to receive only vital supplies at its U.S. and UK and other European warehouses until April 5, as it tries to free up space for medical and household goods in high demand.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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