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Amazon plans to open 1,000 small delivery hubs in cities and suburbs all over the U.S., according to people familiar with the plans.
The facilities, which will eventually number about 1,500, will put products closer to customers, making shopping online about as fast as a quick run to the store. It also will help the world’s largest e-commerce company take on a resurgent Walmart.
Amazon couldn’t fulfill its two-day delivery pledge earlier this year when shoppers in covid-19 lockdown flooded the company with more orders than it could handle. While delivery times have improved thanks to the hiring of 175,000 workers, Amazon is now consumed with honoring a pre-pandemic pledge to get many products to Prime subscribers on the same day.
So with the holidays approaching, Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos is doubling down by investing billions in proximity, putting warehouses and swarms of blue vans in neighborhoods long populated with car dealerships, fast-food joints, shopping malls and big-box stores.
Historically, Amazon gnawed away at storefront rivals from warehouses on the exurban fringes, where it operated mostly out of sight and out of mind. That worked fine when the company was promising to get products to customers in two days. Now Walmart …
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