walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

Amazon Locker

I've been seeing off to the side of the screen something about Amazon Locker and pointedly ignoring it. Well, today I'm not ignoring it any more. What the heck is this thing?

From the source:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200689010

There's a picture of the lockers. They say "in your neighborhood". The idea is simple: can't receive packages? Well now you can. They send you a code and you go type it in and a door pops open and voila, you have your package. I will decline to make the heartless and cruel obvious joke and instead note that even a phoneless road tripper can order on Amazon, if they can track down public libraries with computers and manage to maintain an email address somewhere.

Obviously, like all kinds of things online, they are only in select real world locations (can I order from Amazon Fresh in Metrowest? I don't think so but I hope to be proved wrong some day).

This coverage, from a few months ago, shows a picture of those lockers in a 7-Eleven on Cap Hill in Seattle. This seems very right to me: lots of apartments. They've set some up in NYC as well -- that _really_ makes sense. Sometimes my walking partner's brother will time his Amazon purchases to visits to his family home near where I live; he doesn't live in a doorman building.

While I was obsessing about the Economy of the Future and what that meant for jobs and retail, I ran across indications that we have way more retail space than, well, anywhere else in the world. And that's _before_ factoring in a transition to online retail (which is obviously in progress). I concluded that the corner store wasn't ever going to go entirely away in an urban context (last minute purchases if nothing else) and a business could probably be built around taking deliveries for people who couldn't be home for packages or did not live in a place that supplied such a person (whether that's a big complex with someone running the office or a doorman or super or whatever). Putting Amazon Lockers in a 7-11 would appear to support this thesis without supporting the fractional job that I assumed would go with it.

Yikes.

ETA: I wonder if you can have Amazon Fresh delivered to an Amazon Locker? Probably not.
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