I did something evil last Wednesday. Instead of walking two blocks to the Staples near my house to buy printer ink, or 10 blocks to my neighborhood bookstore to pick up a paperback that a friend recommended, I placed an order on Amazon.com and selected the “same-day delivery” option. Just over nine hours later, an Amazon box appeared on my doorstep. The convenience cost me $11.97.
Why do I say evil? Because I appreciate having stores in my neighborhood that keep the main drag vibrant and participate in the life of the community. And Amazon’s same-day service is just the beginning of a new wave of experimentation that could pose yet another Darwinian challenge to brick-and-mortar businesses of all sizes.