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Online Grocers Struggle To Keep Up With Demand Amid Coronavirus

Jayson Derrick

The ongoing spread of the coronavirus across the U.S. presents a new challenge for online grocers of all sizes.

What Happened

Surging demand for online grocery orders is causing platforms like Whole Foods to experience technical difficulties, Grocery Dive reported. The Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) owned grocery chain along with Prime now, confirmed to customers deliveries could be delayed but social media posts highlighted site outages.

Similarly, customers looking to place orders on Peapod's website were directed with a message the site is "down due to maintenance." Other customers posted on social media outlets it was very difficult to reach an employee by phone for help.

Why It's Important

Online grocers were simply caught off guard from customers looking to make purchases without visiting a physical store to stock up on essentials, according to Grocery Dive. Behind the scenes, online grocers have the added issue is tackling the logistics behind a surge in demand while simultaneously keeping consumers happy.

What's Next

U.S. President Donald Trump said over the weekend he met with consumer and grocery executives and the common theme was their food supply chains remain intact, CNBC reported.

"They have asked me to say, ‘Could you buy a little bit less please.'" Trump said. "I thought I would never hear that from a retailer."

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