Washington Post

Amazon's virus stumbles have been a boon for Walmart and Target

An employee at an Amazon fulfillment center in Kent, Wash., in May. Foto: The Washington Post/Jovelle Tamayo

SEATTLE - For Amazon, five straight months of sustained mania triggered by the pandemic has shaken the retail giant and created an abrupt opening for rivals.

Amazon is still the big gorilla online, and sales have surged amid the pandemic. But Amazon's shipping delays and out-of-stock items meant online shoppers turned to retailers including Walmart and Target, whose networks of brick-and-mortar shops suddenly became an advantage for picking up and shipping e-commerce purchases quickly. Within Amazon's warehouses, coronavirus safety measures have resulted in workers picking items from shelves and loading them into trucks more slowly - and with no end to the virus in sight, it is difficult to forecast a return to full, precrisis efficiency...

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