Daphne Carmeli founder and CEO of Deliv
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One of the assets Amazon used to have in the online retailing wars was tax free internet shopping, established at the very start of the internet highway by the US Congress to help develop ecommerce generally.
Well even though Amazon now does pay local taxes on its revenues its business has become so huge as to threaten traditional brick and mortar retailers. The weaker department stores such JP Penney and Sears, who were already under attack by specialty retailers, have certainly suffered the most from this trend however shopping centers have not been immune either.
Already suffering from too many malls, with keen prices and free shipping Amazon is now putting additional pressure on the whole shopping center industry to respond. In true Darwinian fashion, in the US only the fittest malls will survive, and many others will be knocked down or re-purposed anyway, Amazon or no Amazon.
However the stronger malls do have some strategic assets and they are increasingly starting to fight back, both as centers for people to congregate as well as shop, and by being able to act as local warehouses for the online editions of their tenants.
For that to work you need a fast delivery service and good software at the back end. Software they can do, delivery is much more humdrum but just as important.
Enter California start-up Deliv, which was founded in 2012, and aims to deliver customer online orders right from a retailer’s website directly to the customer’s door, when and where they want it, even within an hour at times.
The company has just completed a small new round of US$4.5 million of follow on financing after an earlier round last year of US$7.8 million. Shopping center giants Simon Property Group and Westfield as well as General growth Properties and others are participating.
Amazon may have a number of huge warehouses in strategic locations across the United States but regional malls are everywhere, all carrying the same major items that exist in their tenants’ online stores as well.
The Deliv model for same-day delivery, uses crowd-sourced delivery personnel and an intelligent technology platform to provide premium quality, same-day delivery at prices equal to or less than standard shipping fees.
By partnering with mall operators and retailers, Deliv hopes to leverage the physical infrastructure that puts inventory within five miles of 95% of Americans – quite a statistic.
“Same-day delivery is a new frontier in providing an outstanding consumer experience, something mall operators and retailers are uniquely able to provide thanks to their physical brick and mortar presence, ” commented Daphne Carmeli, founder and CEO of Deliv. “With the support from our mall operators, Deliv is quickly becoming the defacto standard platform for retailers large and small to be able to leverage this physical presence and efficiently traverse the last few miles.”
Same-day may be something Amazon is itself already aspiring to in some parts of the US; but one hour delivery everywhere that would be quite something.