Not sure how I missed seeing this when it came out a couple of weeks ago, but it turns out that a couple of the store chains where Amazon had experimented with placing its order pickup lockers decided to end the experiment and yank the lockers from their stores. Staples (which I knew about) and Radio Shack (which I didn’t) decided the lockers weren’t right for them, and out they go.
Not that it’s a big surprise. The idea that people coming in to pick up something from the locker might also buy something at the store works a lot better when it’s a convenience store that sells instant-gratification stuff—not an office supply or electronics store where customers could order the same thing cheaper through Amazon. It’s the same reason that bookstores are highly ho-hum about Amazon’s “Amazon Source” program to let them sell Kindles.
So if Amazon wants to push its lockers, it’s going to need to work deals with convenience stores, gas stations, mailing and copy shops—the sorts of places that don’t compete directly with Amazon. Meanwhile, for people who are unable to have their purchases sent to where they work, you can always find a convenient mailing shop and rent a package drop there. I was able to find one near where I work that would receive packages for me for just $60 a year.