Instant product delivery is seemingly the last service online retailers need to provide to conquer their brick-and-mortar competitors. Amazon’s same-day delivery option hopes to lead the charge. But a report from Bloomberg raises concerns about many of Amazon’s black customers being excluded from the service.
Nearly 78 million people live in ZIP codes that are currently eligible for Free Same-Day Delivery – along with Amazon Prime’s $99 annual fee. But apparently, customers who live in predominantly black areas of six major cities with their fair share of segregation or racial issues are being left out. Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, New York City and Washington, to be exact.
Amazon cites multiple reasons this may be the case, while adamantly denying racial stereotyping as one of them, including a lack of Prime users in certain areas, a disproportionately high number in others, slower expansion of coverage areas and distance from the nearest product warehouse.
“Distance matters,” said Craig Berman, Amazon’s vice president for global communications. “At some point, with the math involved, we can’t make it work—in time, or in cost for the carrier. There is a diminishing return on orders.”
The city of Boston has a literal gap in it’s same-day delivery coverage area, leaving out the neighborhood of Roxbury, which is reportedly around 59 percent black. The exclusion in Chicago is blamed on the predominantly black South Side being more than two hours away from the nearest production warehouse in Kenosha, WI. However, same-day delivery goes as far southwest as the suburb of Oak Lawn, which is eight miles south of the city and 85 percent white.
Berman also pointed out examples where there are cities where black customers have access to the service while white ones don’t, including Los Angeles, where white residents of Malibu are considered to be too far, San Jose and Tampa.
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