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Why don’t Roxbury residents qualify for free same-day Amazon Prime deliveries?

A Bloomberg report found that the retailer’s revolutionary new service often overlooks communities with large minority populations.

For consumers who need their online purchases as fast as they can click them, Amazon Prime comes pretty close — for $99 a year, you can get free same-day delivery when buying most items offered on the retail giant’s website.

The company rolled out free same-day delivery for some Prime subscribers in 2014, and has since expanded the offering to ZIP codes that are home to more than 77.6 million Americans,Bloomberg reported. Eligible customers in those locations just need to buy $35 worth of qualifying items before noon that day to ensure they’ll receive them by 9 p.m.

“No patience required,” marketing materials on the website read. “Free-same day delivery.”

But residents in Roxbury are curiously ineligible for the service, a new report in Bloomberg found Thursday, raising questions about the reasons for theirexclusion.



A similar dynamic is visible in New York City too, where the service is made available throughout Manhattan, Staten Island and Brooklyn, but not in the Bronx and some mostly black neighborhoods in Queens.

Similar neighborhoods in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Washington, D.C. are also excluded, the report observed.

“In some cities, Amazon same-day delivery extends many miles into the surrounding suburbs but isn’t available in some ZIP codes within the city limits,” the Bloomberg report noted.

Amazon does offer free same-day service to Amazon Prime customers in Mattapan, as well as in other Massachusetts towns with significant or majority minority populations.

“There are a number of factors that go into determining where we can deliver same-day,” spokesman Scott Stanzel wrote in a statement to Metro. “Those include distance to the nearest fulfillment center, local demand in an area, numbers of Prime members in an area, as well as the ability of our various carrier partners to deliver up to 9:00 p.m. every single day, even Sunday.”

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He did not reply to follow up questions seeking specifics on why Roxbury itself was excluded, but added that the company was working to expand their delivery capabilities and would be “adding more ZIP codes rapidly.”

The company received $3.25 million in tax breaks from Bay State taxpayers after announcing plans to build a one-million-square-foot fulfillment center in Fall River and Freetown.

That facility is scheduled to open later this year.


 

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