We’ve reached peak delivery
In an attempt to deal with the scourge of package thieves, Amazon announced on Tuesday that it would start delivering parcels to the trunks of people’s cars. The program is being rolled out in 37 U.S. cities for Prime customers who have “newer compatible vehicles,” according to Reuters. As someone who has had many a package stolen from my front porch, I suppose this makes sense. But it also points to a larger development: Delivery culture is getting out of control.
To be clear, there are plenty of valid reasons to order stuff online: Maybe you’re busy, or you live in the middle of nowhere, or you have a disability that makes it difficult for you to shop in brick-and-mortar stores. Maybe you just want to send your future self a present. All of that is fine.
Still, we seem to be approaching peak delivery. At this point, anyone who is so inclined could probably live a full life without ever stepping foot into a store again — or, honestly, without ever leaving the house. You can buy just about anything on Amazon — furniture, groceries, pet food, speakers that may or may not spy on you, whatever — and if you turn on recurring shipments, you never have to buy anything anywhere else, ever. If you want fancier groceries, there’s always InstaCart, FreshDirect, or one of a number of Blue Apron-like meal delivery services. Need new clothes? Just use a curated clothing subscription service. And if you need something from the corner store but don’t feel like getting it yourself, you could always hire a Postmate to do your bidding.
Despite the recent shuttering of Toys R US and 92 Claire's locations, it’s too soon to tell what effect, if any, the rise of online retail will have on real-life shopping, but generally speaking, it’s nice to buy things in actual stores. You wouldn't expect it, but according to Pew, that’s where most people prefer doing their shopping anyway.