Why Best Buy Should Love and Embrace Amazon.com

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Amazon.com (AMZN) Locker. It's a simple concept: You order an eligible item on Amazon.com, select the Amazon Locker option (where available) at checkout, choose from same-day (in select areas), one-day, two-day, standard or super-saver shipping, find your nearest locker location and pick up your goods from a physical location.

As it stands, quite a few restrictions exist. Chances are, unless you're conveniently situated in a city such as New York, Los Angeles or Seattle, you will not even be able to access Amazon Locker. As Amazon continues to spend billions to build out its business, particularly fulfillment, expect that to change. Locker could end up a game changer.

Just last week (or was it the week before?) Best Buy ( BBY) announced it had made its online price matching policy permanent. This obvious move triggered a round of applause from large numbers of folks who look in front of them and only see the obvious.

Yet again, Best Buy did what everybody expects. For this -- and other related and semi-related reasons -- it will continue to fail.

As I reported late last year, Best Buy employees repeatedly suggested (and I presume still suggest) partnership with Amazon, but management promptly shot this down. In fact, there's, at the very least, an unwritten edict expressly against this type of collaboration.

But why?

Seems to me Best Buy executives should do everything they can to form a meaningful relationship with Amazon.

Maybe Jeff Bezos would have no part of it, but I doubt that. He's not a close-minded guy. It seems like a no-brainer for Best Buy. You know you can't beat Amazon so find a way to kind of, sort of join them. Amazon Locker provides the ideal conduit.

During my last trip to Manhattan, I spotted an Amazon Locker at a 7-Eleven convenience store. You can't miss the thing. It's huge.

If I lived near that 7-Eleven, there's more than a half a chance I would have noted the existence of an Amazon Locker and used it. If I had one within walking distance of me here in Santa Monica, same thing. As far as I know, they only exist in Los Angeles, which is a drive (or bike ride) away.

At the moment, I go into a 7-Eleven sporadically. It's rare that I buy anything at one; however, when I am in New York or San Francisco, I almost always visit to use the ATM. My debit card works -- fee-free -- with 7-Eleven ATM machines. In those instances, something often catches my eye -- a bottle of water, two hot dogs for a buck or Colt 45 forty ounce chug -- and I make an unplanned purchase.

7-Eleven benefits from having this amenity in its store, both in direct revenue from customers who pay a bank fee and people like me who do not pay a fee, but spend money for the heck of it while there.

By telling Amazon, Listen, we have lots of square feet,... (even after the other obvious move of downsizing a bit) ... why don't you guys keep some of your inventory at our stores and distribution centers and put your Amazon Lockers in all of our stores and offer customers who choose the Best Buy/Amazon Locker option at checkout some sort of incentive to browse and buy something at Best Buy or receive face-to-face customer service while there?.

Work out some sort of complicated revenue sharing scheme. Done. Excellent idea. Benefits both parties. Potentially saves Best Buy from almost-certain death or a really boring subsistence. Gives Amazon's expansion plans a kick and possibly saves them cap ex money in the process.


Because I am picturing myself in the soulless environs of a Best Buy conference room presenting this idea and being shown the door by the unimaginative suits who unfortunately still run the place ...

-- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.
Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.