Amazon.com has activated its new Amazon Locker package delivery system in New York City, expanding a test that first surfaced in its hometown of Seattle.
The retailer’s online checkout system lists eight Amazon Locker locations as options for delivery in New York, including lockers installed at selected Gristedes, Rite-Aid and D’Agostino stores in Manhattan.
However, the system still appears to be in limited testing for now, not yet available to all Amazon.com customers. To find out if it’s available to you, check your Amazon address book to see if it lets you “Search for a Locker Location” to add as a shipping destination.
Amazon Lockers have also surfaced in the U.K., where the system is now live, as well.
Amazon hasn’t yet talked about the initiative publicly, adding an element of mystery to the situation, but the company is believed to be testing the lockers as an alternative means of delivery for customers who aren’t able to have packages sent to their homes or businesses.
After tracking the appearance of the lockers around the Seattle region for the past few weeks, GeekWire stumbled across the option to use the lockers for shipping this week.
To test the system, we bought a pack of AA rechargeable batteries and had them shipped to an Amazon Locker at the 7-Eleven on Queen Anne Hill. As documented in our post and video yesterday, the system worked smoothly, allowing us to enter a six-digit code, which we had received via email, to open the locker containing our package.
Amazon lists eight Amazon Locker locations in the Seattle region, at a Bellevue Rite-Aid on 106th Ave. NE; Bellevue College; US Bank Centre in downtown Seattle; Rainier Copy in the University District; on the Amazon campus in South Lake Union; 7-Elevens on Queen Anne and Capitol Hill, and the Seattle Athletic Club on NE 97th St.
Our package of batteries was delivered via UPS, at the same rate as for home delivery.
It’s conceivable that Amazon could leverage its own Amazon Fresh vehicles to deliver to the Amazon Locker system at some point in the future, creating essentially a complete delivery infrastructure of its own. That grocery delivery service has been in testing for the past four years in Seattle.
With the Amazon Locker system, one issue will be package size, and the realities of some packages not fitting in the lockers. But it looks like the company is anticipating that possibility, after playing around with Amazon’s system, it appears to know whether a package would be too big. For example, when I put a lawnmower in my shopping cart as a test, the system told me I couldn’t use Amazon Locker as a shipping option.
If you’re in New York or Seattle and able to try Amazon Locker, let us know how it goes.