Amazon’s sales, share price and employee numbers rocket during coronavirus crisis

Amazon has seen an enormous increase in demand as shoppers are forced to stay home. It is estimated that customers around the world have been spending almost $11,000 a second on its products and services.

The online retailer is benefiting hugely from the coronavirus crisis, its share price surging by more than a third within a month. This Wednesday (15th April) Amazon shares were changing hands at $2,295, while a month earlier they were worth $1,689.

Amazon’s share price hike came as financial analysts said they expected the company to be crowned “a clear winner” from the Covid-19 crisis and to report record sales and profits this year due to demand for deliveries and its cloud-based services.

Employees need protection

Amazon has not enjoyed such a sales bonanza without putting its warehouse workers at risk, say critics and unions.  Three employees were fired by the company in the US this week, for criticising their employer’s safety measures for fulfilment centre staff. Amazon has been accused of not doing enough to protect its workers from the virus. About 75 Amazon warehouses and delivery workers in the US have been infected with the virus, according to the Washington Post.

Reuters reports that the world’s largest online retailer is facing intensifying scrutiny by lawmakers and unions over whether it is doing enough to protect staff from the novel coronavirus, which has infected more than 1.9 million people, including workers at more than 50 of Amazon’s U.S. warehouses.

Mass recruitment drive to fulfill through the coronavirus pandemic

While many companies across the world have been forced to make staff redundant or place them on government-funded furlough schemes, Amazon is hiring tens of thousands of staff as the business struggles under the weight of orders from consumers trapped at homes all over the world.

The company announced this week that it was hiring an extra 75,000 staff to help it to process the increase in orders. The recruits come on top of 100,000 taken on already since the coronavirus crisis hit western economies last month. The additional workers will take Amazon’s global workforce to nearly 1 million.

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