Artists working for Amazon Inc. Flex, load packages into vehicles to deliver to customers in San Francisco.
David Paul Morris Bloomberg | Getty Images
Amazon is turning to its legions of contracted Flex drivers to deliver packages from mall-based retailers, allowing retailers to deliver products from their own stores using the e-commerce giant’s delivery service.
Amazon has informed some Flex drivers in recent months that it is testing a new program in which workers take packages from retailers in their area and leave them on the doorstep of customers, Amazon said in a statement to drivers, which was reviewed by CNBC.
“Amazon Flex is testing a new type of offer near you,” the statement said. “Retail offers will allow you to pick up and deliver pre-packaged orders directly from non-Amazon stores to participating local malls.”
The notice was sent to drivers in Las Vegas and includes only orders placed in stores at Fashion Show Mall, a 2 million-square-foot mall located on the Las Vegas Strip. It is not clear which stores are participating in the test.
Amazon is also testing the service in Chandler, Arizona, and Tyson Corner, Virginia, according to Bloombergwho was the first to report on the program. The company also appears to be testing the program in Friendswood, Texas, a city southeast of Houston. according to a publication in the popular Reddit group for Flex drivers.
Kate Kudrna, a spokeswoman for Amazon, said a handful of “existing Amazon vendors” were participating in the program and that Flex drivers were working fine, but were receiving orders from retail stores rather than Amazon’s delivery stations or supermarkets.
“We have been delivering from third-party stores for years,” Kudrna said in a statement. “This is another way we can connect Amazon resellers with customers through convenient delivery options.”
Launched in 2015, Amazon Flex is a component of the company’s fast-growing internal logistics. The program uses daily drivers to deliver packages from their own vehicles and work in them over 50 cities. They earn between $ 18 and $ 25 per hour, depending on the type of shift, and are responsible for expenses such as gasoline, tolls and car maintenance.
Amazon has made logistics a major focus as it strives to transport packages to the doorstep of customers at faster speeds. In 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic disrupted enforcement and delivery operations, Amazon said it would spend $ 800 million over a three-month period to expand one-day delivery to the United States.
The company recently opened its extensive supply and performance network to other retailers, allowing them to apply the benefits of Prime to orders placed on their own sites.
Amazon is not the only company offering fast delivery to retailers. On-demand delivery providers such as DoorDash, Uber’s Postmates and Instacart have expanded beyond food and groceries to offer other products from local and national retailers.
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