Amazon is opening a small set of stores allowing for what it’s calling “instant pickup.”
Walking out of a retail location with a purchase is nothing new, but Amazon’s new instant pickup locations near or on college campuses in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Berkeley, Calif., Columbus, Ohio, and College Park, Md. allow members of its Prime subscription service to make purchases online for pick up instead of delivery.
The locations will be “fully staffed,” according to Amazon and items available for pickup ordering are limited to things like snacks, personal care products and “technology essentials,” along with Amazon’s artificial intelligence enabled Echo speaker. Pickup items are only available to Prime members and orders must be made through Amazon’s app.
“As shopping behaviors continue to evolve, customers consistently tell us that they want items even faster,” Ripley MacDonald, Amazon’s director of student programs, said. “Whether it’s a snack on-the-go, replacing a lost phone charger in the middle of a hectic day of adding Alexa to your life with an Echo, instant pickup saves members time.”
While the stores are currently limited to five cities, MacDonald said Amazon is “excited about bringing this experience to more customers soon.”
Amazon Prime members can also have other orders shipped to a pickup location.
The mega-e-tailer’s bricks-and-mortar push is no secret, nor is its avowed obsession with customer convenience.
This year has seen Amazon agree to buy Whole Foods and its 400-plus freestanding store locations for $13.7 billion, test-run a checkout-free grocery store, and launch two-hour shipping.
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