Why Misbranded Amazon Hub Are In Chicago Parks

When I heard that Amazon installed an Amazon Hub in a Chicago park, that didn’t make any sense to me. No way would Amazon install a Hub in a public space to accept Amazon packages only. Unless, of course, Amazon got a sweetheart deal from the City of Chicago.

AMAZON LOCKER VS AMAZON HUB

Here’s a quick overview of Amazon Locker versus Amazon Hub.

  • Amazon Locker are the yellow lockers in public locations. If you ordered something from Amazon, you could send your package to a nearby Amazon Locker for pick up.
  • Amazon Hub are the blue lockers installed at apartment complexes. Packages for residents from any carrier can go into the Hub.

What was reported in Chicago was a crossover of the two package delivery systems. A blue Hub installed at a public location with “order at Amazon, pick up here” decal on the front. Only Amazon packages will be available for pick up at this Hub. Brand confusion wasn’t what started the controversy in a Chicago park.

CHICAGO PARK CONTROVERSY

Chicago residents weren’t aware of the new Amazon Hub until one appeared on a sidewalk. If Amazon had installed the yellow Amazon Locker, residents would have complained sooner. After a public outcry, the Hub got removed and the program put on hold. A petition to remove all the Amazon Hub from the parks has gotten 11,000+ signatures. According to the park district, the Hub was in the wrong location at the right park.

AMAZON CONTRACT

The Amazon contract to install 102 lockers became available to the public. Depending on the size of the locker, Amazon will pay $50 to $125 per month in rent. The park district could get $5,100 USD to $12,700 USD per month in rent. That’s $8.30 USD per square foot in rent per month for public space. A bargain rate for some of best real estate around Chicago.

REVENUE ENHANCEMENT

Amazon doesn’t pay rent for Amazon Locker in commercial spaces. Convenience stores like 7-11 use the Amazon Locker to bring in foot traffic for impulse purchases. Chicago parks don’t need a misbranded Amazon Hub to bring in foot traffic. An underfunded park district will grab whatever “revenue enhancement” they can get. Even if that means selling out the community to a trillion-dollar megacorp.

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