Amazon is expanding its use of Amazon Lockers for picking up packages at 7/11s, drugstores, grocery stores and more. The online retailer is targeting apartment dwellers and those in high-theft areas with a possible strategy for Japanese and European markets. Via the WSJ:

Amazon’s locker program works fairly simply. Customers who ship their item to a locker—typically in 7-Elevens, grocery or chain drugststores—are emailed a code after a package arrives that unlocks the door holding their merchandise. The lockers can hold only smaller items that weigh less than 10 pounds, such as books, DVDs or electronic devices like iPads. Users have several days to retrieve their merchandise.

Users don’t pay extra to use the service but the locker program helps Amazon save on certain shipping costs. ShopRunner’s Ms. Dias said UPS and FedEx Corp. FDX -0.49% charge retailers as much as 20% more to deliver packages to residential addresses because it is more efficient to deliver multiple packages to a business address. Failed deliveries are also more expensive for online retailers because those consumers are more likely to call customer service, switch to a competitor, or get a replacement item.

Amazon avoids much of that with guaranteed delivery to its lockers, often housed in locations operating 24 hours a day. “When customers ship Amazon orders to an Amazon Locker, they can pick up their packages at a time and place that’s convenient for them,” said Amazon’s Ms. Osako.

Amazon pays a small fee each month, akin to rent, to 7-Eleven and other store owners where it has lockers. Store owners declined to say what the fee was and a spokeswoman for 7-Eleven declined to comment.

Wine salesman Robert Thorpe, 35 years old, last month had his Sonicare electric toothbrush delivered to an Amazon Locker in a grocery store in Manhattan instead of his typical apartment-building drop-off.

“This seemed convenient. I didn’t even realize this was an option so I thought I’d try it,” said Mr. Thorpe, who said he frequently misses package deliveries for which the building superintendent signs while he is at work. “If I knew I was going to be away from home, I’d do it again.”