To prioritise the supply of essential goods amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon has put a temporary halt on restocking its UK and US warehouses with non-essential items. Naturally, that means vinyl records and CDs won't be restocked, and new releases won't be available for the time being.
Until at least the 5th of April, the retail giant is electing to "temporarily ban shipment creation" for goods that don't fall under baby, health and household, beauty and personal care, groceries, industrial and scientific, and pet supplies categories. This prioritisation should allow Amazon to “quickly receive, restock, and ship these products to customers”, it said in a company statement to sellers.
Amazon is continuing to sell existing product inventory in its warehouses, so you can still buy Caribou's recently released Suddenly or Morrissey's new I Am Not a Dog on a Chain to help see you through self-isolating periods. But this move is clearly a blow for the music business – for artists relying on revenue from such purchases while they cannot tour, and for smaller labels in particular who rely on Amazon distribution.
The news comes a week after Record Store Day announced it was postponing this year's event until June due to the coronavirus outbreak.