Amazon Instant Pickup is a convenience store for the instant gratification crowd

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Amazon’s push into brick-and-mortar retail continues Tuesday with the launch of Instant Pickup. As the name suggests, the new service is all about saving shoppers time.

Instant Pickup will offer hundreds of “daily essential” items including snacks, cold drinks, personal care products, select technology gadgets and of course, a collection of Amazon’s hottest electronics including the Echo, Echo Dot, Fire TV and Kindle e-readers. Orders will be available for pick-up in two minutes or less.

In other words, it sounds like a convenience store that you can order from using the Amazon app.

The service is launching today at five of Amazon’s fully-staffed pickup locations – Los Angeles, Atlanta, Berkeley, Calif., Columbus, Ohio and College Park, Md. – and will be available at more locations in the coming months. Orders are processed by local employees and placed into a storage locker ASAP. Customers use a barcode provided to them to unlock the locker and retrieve their purchase.

It’s free for Amazon Prime and Prime Student members. In total, Amazon currently operates 22 staffed pickup locations on or near college campuses. Clearly, Amazon is looking to cater to the young, instant gratification crowd with its new service.

Amazon’s continued interest in physical retail is a bit ironic seeing as the e-commerce giant has played a major role in the decline of local shopping in many regions.

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If Amazon can implement this nation-wide that would be huge and detrimental to Wal-Mart. Those 2 retail giants going head-to-head could create huge savings (more so than the present) for us the humble consumer.
In general "guys" don't enjoy the act of shopping. If possible I would much rather order what I want online and it's at my front door in less than 2 days. I would estimate 95% of my purchases is done online. When I find myself absolutely needing something that day is when I have to go to a brick & mortar (usually Walmart). And recently when I needed something right away I ordered online through Wal-Mart and drove to the nearest Walmart store and they had it ready to pickup at the counter. That was great and I'm assuming that is a similar thing to what Amazon is trying to do... Amazon is taking steps to move in on the last use that I (and probably others) have left for Walmart. Honestly if I can drive down to my local Amazon and pickup my emergency/"spur-of-the-moment" items I don't see myself going to Walmart or any other brick & mortar for that matter. And that's exactly what Amazon wants.
Now looking far into the future... Although convenient, how would we feel if we only had one store supplying every item we need or want? Amazon beating every store into the ground until it's just Amazon left standing. I'm not sure how I feel about that. My initial thoughts are, I don't trust any company that much and once they are the only game in town they can name their price... Could that happen? Would our government even allow a company to be so successful there is no other option? Could Amazon really have a monopoly on.... "EVERYTHING"???