Amazon has expanded its Prime same-day delivery feature to include a number of select retailers including PacSun, Diesel, Superdry and vitamin retailer GNC.
The move will initially launch across 10 cities in the US and is free for Prime members when they spend $25 or more, or $2.99 if they spend less than $25.
Some of the participating retailers also give shoppers the option to order items online and pick them up at the store.
Prime subscribers in eligible areas area able to visit the Amazon app or Amazon.com, and browse the curated selection from retail stores in their area, and select same-day delivery option at checkout.
Once an order has been placed, Amazon sends the order through to the store, where an employee fulfils the order from inventory in the store.
An Amazon delivery partner will then picks up the order from the retailer and delivers it to customers.
Supply chain consultant and former Amazon executive Brittain Ladd criticised the service.
“Amazon understands that this entire process is inefficient and costly,” he said.
“This is why it will eventually convince retailers to place their best selling inventory into its automated micro-fulfilment centres (MFC).
Ladd believes that Amazon has plans to build hundreds if not 1,000 or more MFCs “so that customers can be served at the point of need.
“Instead of having an associate at a retail store fulfill an order, and wait for a driver to show up, it will leverage its network of automated MFCs to fulfil products in minutes from dozens of categories, including everyday essentials, groceries, beauty, pets, toys, electronics, and apparel.
Ladd concludes: “Amazon is going to disintermediate retail stores with MFCs because it’s a better model.
“Note to Target: you will eventually switch to the same model. Your “mixing centres,” a fancy way of saying cross docks, aren’t enough. Good try, however.
“Retailers are slowly learning that it is better to partner with Amazon than compete with them.”