As the venerable Radio Shack nears bankruptcy, Bloomberg is reporting that Amazon may buy some of their 4,000 stores. Bloomberg says:
“Amazon has considered using the RadioShack stores as showcases for the Seattle-based company’s hardware, as well as potential pickup and drop-off centers for online customers, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because the deliberations are private.”
I find it interesting that, in the US, there aren’t networks of places to pick up and drop off packages, other than, say, UPS stores. Here in the UK, there is a vast network of stores where many online sellers can send packages; there are several within a couple of miles of where I live. Amazon also recently struck a deal with the UK post office Royal Mail to use post offices for this purpose.
This makes a lot of sense. If you’ve got a package coming, and aren’t home, it’s good to have a place where you can pick it up. This option has long been available here in the UK, and when I lived in France, it was available as well. I can also take any returns to a nearby store to send them to Amazon, or other vendors, making that process easier too.
But I’m slightly sad to see Radio Shack disappear. When I was a teenager in New York City, I bought my first stereo from Radio Shack. There was one right next-door to a Carvel where I worked after school, and I saved up my money to get an all-in-one turntable and amplifier. It probably wasn’t very good, quality-wise, but it didn’t matter: it played my records.