Think that Amazon’s parcel pickup lockers might represent a threat to brick-and-mortar bookstores, if the company ever gets around to putting enough of them in? Well, in the UK, Amazon appears set to leapfrog over that rollout obstacle by teaming up with a courier service called Collect+ that already offers parcel pickup and delivery from 4,900 shops nationwide—many of them convenience stores that are open a lot later than the local post office.
The Telegraph reports that Amazon has begun trying the plan out on a small scale with books and clothes, but plans to roll it out nationwide. This will, of course, spark concerns among traditional “high street” retailers who had ample cause for alarm about Amazon already. It’s one thing to offer greater convenience and reach for e-books, but if they can extend that same convenience to paper books, too, the bookstores could be in even more trouble.
I wish Amazon would hurry up and roll something like that out in my area. Since I no longer have a car, package delivery has become a bit challenging. I’ve used ship-to-store services from both Wal-Mart and Best Buy and been very satisfied with the results, but I’d prefer to order from Amazon which has both the prices and selection I want.
Of course, shipping is irrelevant where e-books are concerned, but sooner or later you need physical goods. (It’s quaint to look back on the early days of the commercial Internet, when people experimented to see if they could live solely on items they bought on-line. They’d have no problem now.)
Photo by William Christiansen.