Amazon to make face shields and sell at cost

, , ,

Amazon says it will produce hundreds of thousands of face shields for medics and sell them at cost price in the US.

The internet giant said engineers from its drone and hardware divisions had been tasked with developing the product.

At first, it will sell them to healthcare professionals, before making them available to all Amazon customers.

Amazon is not the first major US firm to use its resources to produce personal protective equipment (PPE).

Apple began sending face shields to hospitals in March. Space X, HP and Ford also used their manufacturing resources to make and donate face shields and other types of protective equipment.

Amazon said that it had donated 10,000 face shields in the US and was “on track” to deliver a further 20,000.

But its plan to sell them at low prices on its website will make them available to the general public, something other firms have not done.

A look on Amazon’s marketplace on Thursday showed face shields sold by independent sellers were priced between $12 (£9.80) and $35.

Once Amazon makes its mask available to all its customers, it could drive the price down significantly.

The online retail giant has faced criticism for undercutting the prices of independent retailers on its sites, but anti-trust experts say its efforts to help in this crisis will likely offset those concerns.

“People who are concerned about Amazon’s predatory behaviour might be concert but more people will be happy Amazon is making sure these are lower cost at a time of crisis,” said Michael Kades, director of markets and competition at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.