Amazon is considering a new service that would have drivers not only deliver but build furniture, according to Bloomberg. The service is meant to help Amazon better compete with Wayfair and brick-and-mortar stores like Home Depot, Lowes, and Best Buy.
Bloomberg says Amazon is planning to introduce the service in Virginia and at least two other markets initially. It’s meant to deal with one of the biggest annoyances of furnishing your house entirely online: giant packages full of pieces you have to then assemble like the world’s heaviest and most complex Lego set.
Wayfair and most other companies in the furniture business already offer a building service for an additional fee. However, Amazon has faced public scrutiny for its treatment of drivers, including a recent piece by Motherboard that detailed instances of drivers using everything from water bottles to McDonald’s cups to Pringles cans to relieve themselves.
In the presentation Bloomberg saw, the new service required Amazon drivers to deliver the product, remove all packaging, and assemble it. Crucially it would also require drivers to take the product back if the customer wasn’t entirely satisfied, which adds additional labor, and potential risks during the pandemic, to an already difficult job.
While there are signs Amazon is finally starting to address its clear problem with labor, it’s way too early to look at this potential new delivery service with anything but wariness. If you find Amazon’s service rolling out in your area drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.