Amazon, which has lately has been prioritising household essentials and medical supplies, has said it is now also prioritising products where there is "strong customer demand" – including children's books and educational titles.
Two weeks ago, amid reports of panic buying elsewhere, Amazon revealed it was prioritising essentials, provoking concern from publishers about both current titles and forthcoming books, which were temporarily unavailable for pre-order.
However, now Amazon is classing "high-priority products" as those people "most need and want", appearing to reflect a slight relaxation of previous constraints imposed on the network and a widening of its priorities from the bare essentials.
An Amazon spokesperson said: "We’re focused on delivering the high-priority products that people most need and want, and we are seeing strong customer demand for books, particularly children’s books and educational titles."
Books are being ordered from publishers and are moving through Amazon's warehouses and being delivered to customers, according to publishers.
"We are seeing some titles moving," said a spokesperson for DK, although they added "we don't know how [Amazon] are classifying books at this time".
Demonstrably, at the top of Amazon UK's bestseller lists for books is David Walliams' Slime (HarperCollins), available for delivery in a week's time, while – with schools closed – Numbers Ages 3-5: New Edition: Easy Early Numbers Activities for 3-Year-Olds (Collins Easy Learning) is charting sixth, available for next-day delivery.
Amazon declined to confirm whether the status of certain categories had been elevated. However, only two children's and educational book listings in Amazon's top 50 chart are currently accompanied by the "Extended delivery time" warning; all adult titles still appear to have this.
More than half of Amazon top 50 bestsellers are children's books and educational titles (26 of 50). Also selling well is Mrs Hinch, with offerings at number two and five, and adult colouring books, making a comeback with customers of the online retailer in third and seventh top spots, one of which is the stress-busting A Swear Word Coloring Book for Adults (Honey Badger Coloring).