An Amazon delivery hub may be coming soon to a suburb near you.
The world’s largest retailer plans to open 1,000 mini delivery hubs in suburbs and cities across the country, Bloomberg reports, citing sources familiar with the company’s plans.
Amazon is eventually looking at opening as many as 1,500 of these small delivery hubs as it looks to speed up delivery times and make online shopping as convenient as a run to the local big-box store, according to the news service.
The big expansion, which will likely cost Amazon billions in real estate costs, comes as the company digs itself out from a logistical logjam triggered by the dramatic shift in shopping habits in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
An avalanche of online orders this spring found Amazon scrambling to meet its promised two-day delivery time, prompting the retail behemoth to hire 175,000 additional workers.
Now, Amazon is turning its attention to fulfilling a longstanding pledge of same-day delivery for Prime customers, a pledge that is now even more crucial amid rising competition in the retail sector.
Amazon’s push to open delivery hubs in suburban as well as some urban locations is part of a move to neutralize a significant geographic edge held by its big-box competitors.
While Amazon has traditionally placed its warehouses on the edges of metro markets, Target and Walmart have thousands of stores located in and around suburban malls.
But Amazon’s search for an edge in the COVID-era retail wars extends beyond terrestrial warehouses and to the skies.
Amazon is also moving ahead with plans to launch an armada of delivery drones, recently getting the green light from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to start delivering packages and other items to customers.