Amazon is testing a new system that would send your purchases to a locker at the nearest 7-Eleven, like Post Office boxes without Post Offices.
According to a source with knowledge of the project, the idea is simple: these nondescript boxes will be in 7-Eleven stores across the country and act as a sort of P.O. box for Amazon purchases. Once a customer makes a buy on Amazon’s website he can select a 7-Eleven close to work, or on the way home and have the package dropped off there.
When the package is actually delivered, the customer receives an email notification along with a bar code to his smartphone and heads to the 7-Eleven. There he’ll stand in front of the locker system, which looks like the offspring between an ATM machine and a safety deposit box. The machine will scan the bar code on his handset to receive a PIN number. He’ll punch that PIN number and retrieve the package.
Wow, that’s actually a pretty brilliant approach. It would’ve been more brilliant when 7-Eleven was more prevalent nationwide, but there’s no better chain, outside of maybe CVS or Walgreens, to use this tactic with. And if the USPS, which has fallen on hard times, eventually decides to go five days per week, working with a chain like 7-Eleven, which already MUST have a wide distribution system, is the perfect substitute — they could subvert the mail system entirely if they needed to.