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Amazon temporarily suspends Prime Pantry amid coronavirus outbreak

The grocery delivery service is experiencing an increase in demand, the retailer says.

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Amazon has temporarily shut down Prime Pantry amid increased order volume.

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Amazon has temporarily suspended its Prime Pantry grocery delivery service amid a surge in orders apparently related to the coronavirus outbreak.

A notice at the top of the Prime Pantry website Thursday read: "Pantry is temporarily closed. We are busy restocking."  

It wasn't immediately clear when the service would resume.

"Amazon is not accepting new orders at this time while we work to fulfill open orders and restock items following increased demand," an Amazon representative said. "We are working hard to make these products available again and will update customers once we can take new orders."

The service, which was launched in 2014, enables Prime customers to get snacks, beverages, cleaning supplies and more sent to their doorsteps.

The coronavirus has changed social activities in just a few weeks in the US, with new protocols to slow infection forcing stores to close and causing more people to work from home. That's resulted in a surge of online orders at retailers.

Amazon said earlier this week it plans to hire 100,000 more part-time and full-time warehouse workers and delivery drivers in the US to help it manage the increase in online shopping tied to the coronavirus pandemic.