Amazon.com, the “Everything Store”, has always prided itself for being so much better than your ordinary retail store. This includes not having a security guard follow non-white people around the store with suspecting eyes. However, according to Bloomsberg, that notion is about to change as the Same-Day Delivery policy introduced by Amazon Prime does not seem to cater to the regions of United States that predominantly inhabited by the black population.
The ability of Amazon to deliver just about anything from kitchen appliances to detergent at one’s doorstep has been nothing short of a much-wanted boon for people living in the minority urban sections of the country. While ZIP codes with a white population get to enjoy the benefits of mini-marts, fully-stocked groceries and shopping malls nearby, people from neighborhoods which are not prioritized by the retailers often have to travel for miles to buy even the most basic needs of daily life.
Craig Berman, Amazon’s vice president for global communications boasted of its servicers: “We don’t know what you look like when you come into our store, which is vastly different than physical retail… We offer every customer the same price. It doesn’t matter where you live.” However, this claim is turning out to be not so true after Amazon introduced its Prime version, which allows people to get commodities delivered to their houses on the same day without any extra delivery charges for orders which exceed $35. With this, Amazon proceeded to eliminate the only advantage that retail stores enjoyed over online shopping centers. But it has been seen that after about eleven months since its launch, Amazon Prime has managed to only cover 27 metropolitan areas which exclude some of the majorly black ZIP codes. For example, while its delivery system covers Brooklyn, Staten Island and Manhattan in NYC, it leaves out Bronx and a huge chunk of Queens.
Amazon commented clarifying that its aim has always been to reach as many households as possible and in this mission “Demographics play no role in it. Zero”.
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