Retail delivery makes sense from a resource standpoint
For many many years I've argued in favor of piloting (it's not really "piloting" because it used to be done as a matter of course) shared delivery services so that people wouldn't "have to " drive to the store to bring back their purchase... (1) since maybe 2004, as part of the launch of DC/USA--where Target, Best Buy, Bed, Bath & Beyond and other stores could deliver transactions of a certain size; (2) since 2007 with regard to Eastern Market public market in Capitol Hill; and (3) in 2012 with regard to Walmart's entry into DC more generally, although the point was triggered by the plan for the Walmart store on Georgia Avenue (I was the chief author of a community committee's evaluation of the proposal).
But the city's transportation and land use planners aren't much oriented to pushing transportation planning practice forward when it comes to being a bit "forceful" with developers and tenants. (Walmart is testing delivery in San Jose and other markets, and is also testing secure lockers for online deliveries at some locations as well.)
"Urban" transportation innovations are more limited than we care to believe.
From the Wall Street Journal:
Having groceries delivered can involve lower carbon-dioxide emissions than driving to the supermarket.
Findings raise the question of whether governments should offer incentives for delivery as a way to reduce greenhouse gases.
That's the finding of a study that modeled Seattle-area households as grocery shoppers and delivery destinations. It found that carbon emissions could be cut by 20% to 75% using delivery trucks. Emissions plummeted by as much as 90% if the deliveries were routed for maximum efficiency—with full trucks and clustered customers—instead of being made at the convenience of individual households.
In the simulation, delivery trucks cut emissions not just in dense urban areas, where delivery is thought most efficient, but in suburbs and rural areas as well. The researchers said their findings raise the question of whether governments should offer incentives for delivery as a way to reduce greenhouse gases.
"Evaluating the Efficacy of Shared-use Vehicles for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions: A U.S. Case Study of Grocery Delivery," Erica Wygonik and Anne Goodchild, Journal of the Transportation Research Forum (summer--not yet available online)