Case Folio
Amazon.com, Inc.: Tackling Challenges and Building Resilience Amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic

Article Details
Pub. Date : Dec' 2020
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Case Folio
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJCF11220
Author Name : Hadiya Faheem and Debapratim Purkayastha
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Management
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 18

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Abstract

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The case discusses American multinational conglomerate and technology company Amazon.com, Inc.'s strategy to survive and emerge successfully from the Covid-19 or Coronavirus pandemic. The Covid-19 outbreak that started in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, soon spread to countries across the world, and led to consumers and businesses taking precautions to prevent transmission of the disease. Many were forced to stay indoors. While this affected many industries, Amazon experienced a surge in orders for delivery, with consumers spending $11,000 every second on buying products or services on the company's e-commerce platform. Analysts felt that Amazon, which was already a hit with consumers doing shopping online and which controlled 40% of all the online retail sales in the US, as of March 2020, was better positioned to tackle the crisis due to its e-commerce prowess and its cloud computing arm, Amazon Web Services (AWS). Though the initial months of the pandemic led to sales increase due to a spike in demand, the retailer was facing issues with delivery fulfilment. Product delivery was taking weeks or even months due to a surge in demand resulting from panic buying by consumers. The company was also facing issues with its supply chain. Amazon and its founder, Jeff Bezos, also attracted the ire of its warehouse workers who alleged that the company was putting their safety at risk by continuing operations. They alleged that Amazon was not being transparent about the Covid-19 cases in its facilities and that it was slow to provide them with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Some of the workers complained that the retailer was risking their lives, forcing them to work during the pandemic in a bid to keep its stores running when most people were being asked to stay indoors. The retailer was also criticized by the US Senators for firing whistleblowers who had raised concerns over warehouse conditions during the pandemic. With these being early days of the pandemic, some analysts opined that it could be a tough road ahead for Amazon as the company would have to grapple with the full impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

From online shopping to AWS to Prime Video and Fire Tv, the current crisis is demonstrating the adaptability and durability of Amazon's business as never before, but it's also the hardest time we've ever faced.1

- Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon.com, Inc., in May 2020.


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