Amazon expanding locker pickup in Europe
Reuters reports that Amazon is working to expand its locker package pickup program in Europe.
The e-commerce giant has self-service lockers in the U.S. and the U.K. at shopping malls and other public gathering areas. Customers receive a one-time use code to open lockers when their package is ready.
Fortune says that the retailer has posted job listings regarding “pickup locations, including Amazon Locker” in Munich, and for a business development and tech operations manager for “click and collect” services including lockers.
Amazon’s shipping and fulfillment costs, up 37% year-over-year in Q4 to $1.8 billion, are growing faster than its revenue, which increased 22% to $35.7 billion in the same year. But so far it has focused on making moves to make those operations more efficient, rather than scaling back on its fulfillment and delivery offerings to its Prime members.
In fact, the retailer recently raised its free shipping minimum for non-Prime members from $35 to $49, in an effort to convert more people to Prime.
There is some amount of dynamic pricing on Amazon—some items are designated as “add-ons,” which can be combined with bigger orders that ship free. And Prime members can opt for slower shipping on items that qualify for free two-day fulfillment, in exchange for $1 credit toward video rentals and purchases and other opportunities.
But by and large, the company appears to be developing its own delivery networks in an effort to gain economies of scale and cut out the “middle man.”
The company has moved to control its own air cargo and truck deliveries through leases and purchases of planes and truck fleets, and continues to experiment with the last mile as well.
But when that involves squeezing workers and drivers, as Amazon is known to do in the past, it’s still unclear how viable a long-term solution that will be if high turnover and low quality service interfere.
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