Some Amazon Prime services seem to exclude many predominantly black zip codes


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An extensive Bloomberg report published Thursday shows that Amazon appears to exclude predominantly black zip codes from its same-day delivery services.


Amazon launched same-day deliveries last year for its Prime members living in or near major US cities, rolling out zip code by zip code. But with an extensive set of maps and graphics, Bloomberg shows that the service appears to exclude zip codes with large majorities of black people.

In Chicago, same-day delivery is available throughout the northern neighborhoods and suburbs like Edgewater, Evanston, and the Loop, which happen to be predominately white. But Amazon doesn't support same-day deliveries to Chicago's South Side, Bloomberg found.

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In New York City, same-day delivery via Amazon Prime is available in every borough but the Bronx.

In Boston, the majority-black neighborhood of Roxbury is surrounded on all sides by areas with same-day delivery, but doesn't have the service in any of its three zip codes.


In some smaller cities though, like Seattle where Amazon is based, it's offered everywhere.

For its part, Amazon said it does not consciously make decisions based on race. From Bloomberg:

There's no evidence that Amazon makes decisions on where to deliver based on race. [Amazon's vice president of global communications Craig] Berman says the ethnic composition of neighborhoods isn't part of the data Amazon examines when drawing up its maps. "When it comes to same-day delivery, our goal is to serve as many people as we can, which we've proven in places like Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, and Philadelphia." Amazon, he says, has a "radical sensitivity" to any suggestion that neighborhoods are being singled out by race. "Demographics play no role in it. Zero."

We reached out to Amazon about this issue. Director of company PR Scott Stanzel provided the following statement:

There are a number of factors that go into determining where we can deliver same-day. 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 pm every single day, even Sunday. We will continue expanding our delivery capabilities and are adding more zip codes rapidly.


You can read the full Bloomberg article and check out detailed maps here.

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

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