Amazon and Coachella: Tech giant to place package lockers at music festival, expanding delivery network

(Amazon Photo)

Amazon has expanded its delivery locker network to grocery stores, banks, gyms, and other places where customers can pick up their packages.

In April, they’ll arrive at a surprising new location: Coachella.

For the first time, Amazon will plop one of its yellow lockers at the popular music festival in Indio, Calif., that drew 250,000 people in 2017.

Concert-goers can order from a custom Coachella storefront on Amazon that will feature products in categories including fashion & accessories, beauty, health & wellness, tech, and camping. Just like other Amazon lockers, customers will receive a barcode after ordering and can scan it to get their package.

It’s the latest example of Amazon’s growing delivery network. The company launched the Lockers concept more than seven years ago and now has them in more than 900 locations across the U.S., but the Coachella initiative appears to be the first attempt at a “pop-up” version. Amazon has also previously used the lockers as advertising vehicles.

Having a visible presence at a high-profile music festival also plays into Amazon’s interest in music and entertainment. The company has streamed concerts in the past and has held talks to enter the event ticketing business.


An Amazon locker sits inside this Chase Bank location at 350 Westlake Ave. N, in the heart of Amazon’s Seattle campus. (GeekWire Photos / Taylor Soper)

Amazon continues to offer new package delivery options beyond a customer’s doorstep, including Amazon Pickup Locations, a glorified version of the lockers that are staffed by workers, and Hub by Amazon at apartment buildings. Amazon also operates pickup locations for groceries in Seattle.

The centralized pickup points help Amazon speed up delivery times and provide an alternative to receiving packages at home or work, particularly for those concerned about package theft.

E-commerce competitors including rival Walmart also offer their own package pickup locations. AT&T just last year opened a new retail and coffee shop in Seattle that has a bank of lockers for online purchases.

Amazon has rolled out other creative ways to receive packages, including in-car delivery and Amazon Key, a service that gives delivery personnel access to a customer’s home or garage. Patent filings show plans for delivering packages via public transit— turning buses, trains, subways and other vehicles into roaming pickup locations.

As Amazon’s e-commerce sales continue growing — $40 billion last quarter, up 13 percent — it has added more and more delivery infrastructure as it continues to offer a free 2-day shipping benefit for its Prime members. In addition to its massive warehouses, the company also now has its own planes, truck trailers, and delivery drones.

Amazon spent $9 billion on shipping in the fourth quarter, according to its latest quarterly results. That’s $1.7 billion more than the 2017 holiday quarter, a 23 percent increase.

Amazon’s annual shipping costs have risen 140 percent since 2015 and increased by at least $4.7 billion each of the last four years. The tech giant spent $11.5 billion on shipping in 2015, $16.2 billion in 2016, $21.7 billion in 2017 and $27.7 billion in 2018.