Ordering from Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) just got easier, as the online retailer expands the use of its locker program to accept returns.
Here's how it works: shoppers simply search for a locker location and add it to their address book. When finalizing a purchase, the address will be available as a shipping destination. When it's delivered, Amazon sends a text message or email with a code to open the locker. Shoppers have three days to collect their purchases.
And now they can return them using the same process, in reverse.
Amazon launched the locker program in 2011, placing the lockers in retail chains including Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS), 7-Eleven and RadioShack (NYSE:RSH). Walmart and eBay both answered with locker programs of their own. Walmart is testing lockers as part of its click and collect program, and eBay partnered with a company in London to test the concept.
RadioShack and Staples both pulled the lockers from stores in September 2013. Those "didn't meet the criteria we set up together," Staples president of North American stores Demos Parneros told Bloomberg, while RadioShack discontinued the initiative upon the arrival of a new management team headed up by Joseph Magnacca as CEO. The retailer has since been developing new prototypes and re-evaluating locations. In March, RadioShack announced it would close 1,100 stores, or 20 percent of the chain's locations.
But for Amazon, the test goes on. The Amazon Locker program currently serves Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angles, San Diego, Virginia, Delaware, Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey and Austin, Texas.
-See this Wall Street Journal story
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