At Bailey's Crossing, a luxury rental apartment building in Alexandria, Virginia, delivery people from UPS, Federal Express, Amazon and the U.S. Postal Service are parading in with the carts overflowing from Cyber Monday shopping.
They will not, however, bring all those packages, large and small, up to the tenants or to the building's front desk. There are simply too many. With online shopping now making up at least 10 percent of all retail, apartment building mailrooms are bulging, and landlords are balking.
"In our portfolio, which is 11,000 units in operation right now and 4,000 under development, this year we have an estimated 300,000 packages coming in," said Mark Alfieri, CEO of Monogram Residential Trust , which owns and manages Bailey's Crossing. "It's become a real challenge for the industry over the last several years as online shopping has increased."
So Monogram installed a high-tech locker system in the building's garage. It is powered by LuxerOne, a San Francisco-based firm that launched in 2005 with an automated laundry locker system. Delivery people stand at an iPad screen, punch in a delivery code, find the recipient's name and have the iPad take a picture of the package's mailing label. They then choose a locker size, which will be assigned to the package. Once the package is in, the system sends a text message to the building tenant, letting them know the package has been delivered and is ready to be retrieved. The tenant can come down, punch in the code that was texted, and the locker assigned to their package will pop open.