Have you ever heard of Ama­zon’s trea­sure truck?

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE - By Paul Au­sick

By now most of us have fig­ured out that Ama­zon.com Inc. (NAS­DAQ: AMZN) is mak­ing a move on brick-and-mor­tar re­tail­ing. The $13.7 bil­lion Ama­zon spent to ac­quire Whole Foods may have been a give­away.

Ama­zon is also test­ing a con­ve­nience store con­cept that knows what you’ve bought when you walk out the door and has opened some re­tail book­stores now that it has cleared the field of some com­peti­tors.

In Fe­bru­ary of 2016 the com­pany also kicked out a pro­mo­tional ploy called Trea­sure Truck, wherein the com­pany loads up a truck with se­lected items and sells the items out of the back of the truck to cus­tomers who have been no­ti­fied by text mes­sage of what’s avail­able and who buy an item from the Ama­zon app and pick it up at the truck.

The Trea­sure Truck ser­vice is avail­able in 11 U.S. cities: At­lanta, Bos­ton, Chicago, Dal­las, Houston, Los An­ge­les, Mi­ami, Min­neapo­lis-St. Paul, Orlando, San Diego and Seat­tle. The com­pany also says it is adding new cities “all the time.”

Here is a half-man, half-beast that seems to of­fer the worst of both. First of all, if you live in one of the Trea­sure Truck cities you have to sign-up to re­ceive “au­to­mated mes­sages (in­clud­ing mar­ket­ing mes­sages) from Ama­zon about Trea­sure Truck.” Now sup­pose that you find an item you want in one of those mes­sages. You can or­der one only and Ama­zon will let you know where the truck is so that you can go and pick it up. That’s con­ve­nient.

Rather than hav­ing a store in a fixed lo­ca­tion, Ama­zon parks this truck some­where in your city and you have to go find it to pick up your pur­chase. Maybe that ap­peals to peo­ple with a lot of time on their hands or who rel­ish a scav­enger hunt.

Still, the Trea­sure Truck prob­a­bly doesn’t cost Ama­zon much and if it doesn’t work then the com­pany can just stop it. Re­mem­ber, no one ever got rich bet­ting against Ama­zon.

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