Amazon planning locker-based delivery drop-offs

Digital lock-boxes appearing in shopping centres now

8 Sep 2011

Details of a plan by Amazon to make deliveries more convenient have leaked ahead of a planned UK launch of the service: digital lockers in shopping centres throughout the country.

The concept is simple: rather than having your Amazon packaged delivered to your home, only to find that ever-so-irritating 'sorry we missed you' card when you come home from work, you can opt to have your goods sent to a secure location in a nearby shopping centre.

The lockers, sized to accept the different boxes Amazon uses to package its deliveries, feature a display and keypad. While the company is keeping quiet on the precise way the lockers will work, it seems obvious: users will type in a code given to them after the order has been delivered which will unlock the box containing their parcel.

The system isn't new: many railway stations and airports have pay-per-use locker systems that use a keypad entry - usually in the form of 'remember two numbers and a colour - in order to prevent the problem of lost keys. Using the same technology for secure delivery drop-off, however, is clever indeed.

The lockers have already been spotted by Retail Week at the One New Change shopping complex in London, with more news outlets reporting similar devices popping up in multiple 7-Eleven shops across the US.

Thus far, Amazon hasn't made any announcement regarding the lockers - but with systems popping up across the globe, it can't be long before the company sends the system live.

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