Amazon has announced plans to hire 100,000 workers in the United States and Canada, amid an online shopping boom fueled by the pandemic.
Hiring for the new positions has begun, said Amazon, which is offering signing bonuses of as much as $1,000 in some locations. The company also noted it plans to open 100 operational buildings this month, including fulfillment centers, delivery stations, sorting centers, and other sites.
The top 100 retailers, which include Amazon and Walmart, accounted for 80 percent of the collective growth in traffic.
While the fastest-growing categories in e-commerce were office supplies and sporting goods, according to the Digital Commerce 360 report, the outbreak has also accelerated an online grocery movement, with analysts and executives predicting that it will last beyond the pandemic.
The head of Whole Foods Market, which Amazon bought in 2017 for $13.4 billion in a bid to expand its brick-and-mortar footprint and gain an edge in the $700 billion grocery industry, said he believes the trend away from in-person shopping will persist even after the pandemic subsides.
"People are purchasing differently, and that’s partly because they’re not eating at restaurants as much," he said, adding that he's seen a tremendous increase in demand for all the animal proteins, while interest in prepared foods has dropped.
"Online grocery shopping is now a way of life for consumers," RBC analyst Mark Mahaney wrote in an analysis of online grocery trends.
"Pre-COVID-19, well over half of consumers bought groceries online—and many are now willing to do so permanently," he wrote. "We believe that online grocery shopping may now be becoming a habitual practice among shoppers.”