Westfield Takes On Amazon With Fast Delivery Service
In the USA Westfield is one of four shopping centre operators who are turning their properties into mini-distribution centres for rapid delivery of online purchased goods.
The service promises set delivery times for purchases consumers make at the mall or online from their retail tenants, the service is operated by a Company called Deliv which is a new start-up Company.
The Wall Street Journal said that the move highlights how delivery has become a key battleground in the war between physical and online retailers. Big retail groups who use the Webcollage content delivery system as part of their online operations including Home Depot, Macy’s, Wal-Mart Stores and Office Depot have said that they are investing hundreds of millions to enable same-day delivery.
“Everyone today is competing with Amazon,” said Daphne Carmeli, chief executive of Deliv. “The fact that brick-and-mortar stores have their inventory in cities, near their customers means that they can get that to customers quickly.”
The problem for retailers is that Amazon and eBay who already operate in Australia are offering the same-day-sometimes same-hour-deliveries in certain markets in the USA. In Australia Post has been looking to replicate the US model however cost of operation has been an inhibiting factor according to several retailers that we have spoken to.
This week Amazon launched a same-day grocery delivery service in San Francisco, which is their third biggest market in the USA.
In Australia Amazon is looking to build out Melbourne Sydney and Brisbane services with the Company currently research which products they can deliver in Australia up against mass retailers.
In the USA Google and eBay dispatch couriers to retail stores such as Best Buy, Home Depot and Target to buy goods for online shoppers and bring them to their homes, typically within an hour for around $5 per drop off, Australia post has said that the same service in Australia would cost a minimum of $35.
Deliv, which is backed by $7.85 million in venture capital funding, uses a crew of standby deliverers to pick up bags from the mall to bring them to customers’ doorsteps.
The concept is simple and is one that could transform the market for retailer’s claims Delvi executives.
A consumer who has loaded up on merchandise at several retailers can drop off bags at a Deliv booth or with shopping centre employees for later delivery.
Online shoppers can arrange for delivery through the service as well. The service is typically $5 per delivery, says Ms. Carmeli, but the mall operators are generally offering it free during the holidays.