Amazon Finally Opens Its Grocery Pickup Stores To Public

Amazon Prime customers in Seattle will now have another option for groceries: Two AmazonFresh pickup sites are open to the general public after an employees-only testing phase.

Here’s how it works: Shoppers select their items online and pay for them, and then choose a two-hour window to pick them up from one of two drive-in Amazon locations.

If you’re an AmazonFresh member your order will be ready in 15 minutes, but other Prime shoppers will have to wait at least two hours after their order is placed.

Once the customer arrives, a license-plate reader checks them in and alerts Amazon and employee brings the groceries out to their car and puts them in the trunk.

There’s no order minimum, and the service is free for Prime members.

If these first two pickup sites prove to be successful, it’s likely Amazon will consider expanding the service to other locations and cities.

It’s also worth noting that this pickup service is a lot like a something Walmart has been offering in certain locations since 2014, which allows customers in a handful of markets to place grocery orders in advance and have them waiting for pickup later in the day. Walmart recently expanded that program to additional cities.

Another Amazon foray into grocery shopping isn’t quite ready for primetime yet, however: The company’s Amazon Go checkout-free convenience store concept was supposed to open to the public in March, but that plan was put on hold after apparent hiccups with the cashless technology.

(h/t Seattle Times)