Posted November 6, 2012 9:32 am by with 0 comments

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One thing that amazes me is that although I watch the online industry day in and day out I get surprised by things that have been in the marketplace for a while on some level or another.

Most of the time these ‘surprises’ are things that happen at the intersection of the online and offline worlds. Note to self – pay closer attention to the intersection of the online and offline worlds because it could be powerful.

The latest thing that caught me off guard are Amazon lockers. Reuters reports how these are going to be installed at Staples stores. These stores are not the first to have them as the program has been piloted in Seattle, New York and London over the past year or so (OK so I am a little behind the curve, yell at me if you must but I don’t live in any of those markets either).

Staples Inc, the largest U.S. office supply retailer, has agreed to install “Amazon Lockers” in its U.S. stores, a Staples spokeswoman said on Monday.

The Amazon lockers at Staples will allow online shoppers to have packages sent to the office supply chain’s stores. Amazon already has such storage units at grocery, convenience and drug stores, many of which stay open around the clock.

Amazon.Com Inc, the world’s largest Internet retailer, is trying to let customers avoid having to wait for ordered packages due to a missed delivery.

OK, this is just plain smart for retailers. Rather than fight against Amazon (which is like fighting the most powerful city hall in retailing) why not use their power and gravitas to bring people to your stores?

Brick and mortars are always looking for ways to get more people in their stores. They know that once someone is physically in the store their chances of shopping there at that moment are exponentially higher than if they were on their couch. So why not capitalize on the general impatience of most by helping them receive things on time even of they are not home by simply holding the package on their behalf?

Makes sense to me on many levels. Not the least of which is seeing how co-opetition between even the slightest of frienemies (holy buzzword Batman!) can be a smart move. Finding ways to work together that actually help two companies is smart business as far as I can tell.

I wonder if the folks who are seeing this in business could hold some lectures/seminars/webinars or whatever that are required for members of the Democratic and Republican parties to attend. If there was ever a place where cooperation is needed to help move everyone along, that is the place.

Having said that don’t forget to vote today if you are a US citizen of age. It’s a right but it’s really your duty. I have already so now I will see what else I have missed.