Amazon and 7-Eleven in Drop-Off Location Test
Amazon customers are being offered a new way to receive their purchases. Instead of waiting at home, standing in line at a depot or getting to the post office during relatively short opening hours, they can head for a nearby store (or mall in the U.K.) with longer opening hours and simply open a locker.
Amazon will e-mail a barcode to exchange for a PIN to unlock said locker, releasing the package. Locations are intended to be more convenient for customers to reach at their convenience, perhaps during a coffee or lunch break, on their way to or from home or even after a night out. American trials were expected to start at 7-Eleven stores in Seattle with potential roll-out in summer 2012 if all goes well, according to The Inquirer. Different sizes will be available, with keypads and monitors similar to those in cashpoints.
At more or less the same time, lockers will be installed in several London shopping centers, reported Retail Week. Unfortunately for stores hoping to lure passing Amazon customers into their own premises, “the lockers are located in secondary space in the shopping centres — at One New Change, for example, are in a corridor leading to the public toilets,” according to Retail Week.
Both Amazon and 7-Eleven have declined comment. Meanwhile, sarcasm and skepticism abound, with Engadget’s Amar Toor describing the units as seven-foot tall “box-style cabinets … completely devoid of Amazon branding.”
Anonymous wrote on the U.K.’s Retail Week site, “The key benefit to internet shopping is not having to go anywhere to get the stuff, otherwise it’s just like going to the shops! People easily get items delivered to work anyway so why there is a demand for this I have no idea.” Another comment on the same site suggested having the pickups at train stations or office complexes.
Consumer Reports noted the potential convenience for customers, but pointed out, “This may be another blow to the struggling U.S. Postal service.” The Inquirer declared it “so 1999 … and we are happier to have our goods handed to us than have to go out and track them down.”
- Amazon pick up lockers could debut in the US this Friday – The Inquirer
- Amazon tests package delivery and pickup at 7-Eleven locations – Consumer Reports
- Amazon’s 7-Eleven lockers are very real, very gray, slated for Friday activation – Engadget
- Amazon, 7-Eleven team up to bring delivery convenience to your corner store – Engadget
- Amazon to launch order collection lockers in UK shopping centres – Retail Week
- Amazon’s new drop-off spot: 7-Eleven? – CNN
Discussion Questions: What do you think of Amazon’s move to test drop-off delivery at 7-Eleven locations? What benefits do you see for Amazon and the convenience store chain?