BEEEZOS!

Amazon Creeps Ever Closer to Same-Day Delivery

Don't look now, but the retail apocalypse is on its way.
 Amazon Creeps Ever Closer to Same Day Delivery

Now is the part where I throw my head back and laugh. (Photo: flickr.com/oreilly)

Living in New York has convinced us it’s perfectly acceptable to order almost anything for delivery. The other day, we seriously considered a Seamless order from Coldstone Creamery, until the spectre of gout forced us to reconsider. But there’s still plenty of time-sensitive things that require us to leave our apartments, like a beach umbrella for tomorrow’s trip to the Rockaways or an emergency bag of cat litter.

Well, good news, shut-ins! The Financial Times reports that Amazon is working on a plan to get you that carton of Fancy Feast just as fast as possible. Think same-day delivery. Fluffy will be ecstatic. 

After years of fighting tooth and claw against collecting sales tax, in the spring Amazon finally caved and settled with several states. That means they’ll either have to bump prices 4 to 9 percent or somehow get creative with the margins. But, the Financial Times adds, Amazon is making lemonade out of the situation:

“Amid the tax furore, Amazon is seizing the opportunity to expand its network of US warehouses – it had 34 at the end of last year – so it can place its merchandise nearer to big markets and offer same-day delivery to more consumers.

“That will erode one of the last advantages of the physical store: instant gratification.”

Nor is this Amazon’s only urban delivery experiment. Perhaps you’ve noticed that you now have the option of picking up your package at a local 7-Eleven? Very useful for those of us with sticky-fingered neighbors. But if we’re already going outside to pick up that shipment, we might as well at least try to find what we need somewhere else first. Same-delivery changes all that.

Former indie booksellers are really going to relish the schadenfreude when there’s finally a 3D printer that can fabricate almost anything, rendering even Amazon’s distribution network unnecessary.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com