This may seem like a no-brainer for the Oak Park area's many backers of local business, but it's a question worth asking.
By beefing up its distribution operations*, Amazon has plans to introduce a same-day delivery service, according to Financial Times. (Here's a link to the article; you may be required to register for free.)
Think about that. You can order something in the morning while at work and it's at your house by the time you arrive home. An essay that ran Thursday in Slate touches on the consequences.
Physical retailers have long argued that once Amazon plays fairly on taxes, the company wouldn’t look like such a great deal to most consumers. If prices were equal, you’d always go with the “instant gratification” of shopping in the real world. The trouble with that argument is that shopping offline isn’t really “instant”—it takes time to get in the car, go to the store, find what you want, stand in line, and drive back home. Getting something shipped to your house offers gratification that’s even more instant: Order something in the morning and get it later in the day, without doing anything else. Why would you ever shop anywhere else?
While we're sure most downtown Oak Park businesses aren't shuttering at the thought of being replaced by Amazon's visions for same-day shipping and shopping anytime soon, we think the paradigm shift is cause for concern for mom-and-pop stores. But it's also pretty exciting for consumers.
So where do you stand?
* By "beefing up its distribution operations," we mean spending hundreds of millions of dollars constructing enormous new distribution centers and experimenting with futuristic robotic technology.