Amazon is experimenting with a plan to turn its vast network of Flex drivers to deliver packages retailers in shopping malls.
The move will allow sellers to ship products from their own locations using the e-commerce giant’s delivery service.
Several gig drivers got the notification in recent months of the new program where they distribute packages to customers.
The company said: “Amazon Flex is testing a new offer type near you. Retail delivery offers will allow you to pick up and deliver pre-packaged orders directly from non-Amazon retail stores in participating local shopping centers.”
The notice was sent to Las Vegas drivers and at the moment only applies to orders placed at Fashion Show Mall, located on the Las Vegas Strip.
A handful of “existing Amazon sellers” are participating in the program, and Flex drivers operate normally but pick up orders from retail stores rather than Amazon delivery hubs or supermarkets.
Amazon is also putting the service through its paces in Chandler, Arizona, and Tysons Corner, Virginia.
An Amazon spokesperson said: “We have been delivering from third-party stores for years. “This is another way we are able to connect Amazon sellers with customers via convenient delivery options.”
Amazon has prioritized logistics as it attempts to deliver products to customers’ doors at a faster rate.
Amazon announced in 2019 that it would spend $800 million over three months to expand one-day shipping in the United States, prior to the coronavirus epidemic disrupting its fulfilment and delivery operations.
The firm recently offered its huge shipping and fulfilment network to other retailers, allowing them to apply Prime perks to orders placed on their own websites.
Amazon Flex, which debuted in 2015, is a component of the company’s rapidly expanding in-house logistics division. The service, which operates in over 50 locations, employs ordinary drivers to deliver parcels from their own vehicles.
It was recently revealed Amazon has too much warehouse space following an expansion during the Covid-19 pandemic and is now looking to sublet or end the leases on around 10 million square feet of space.