Amazon to open drive-up grocery stores in Seattle
Orders are put together and loaded into your car by employeesBy Jose Vilches
Amazon is looking at new ways for customers to buy their groceries online. According to permit documents leaked online, the company is working on an "AmazonFresh Pickup" concept, in which customers can drive to a brick-and-mortar location where their previously-placed orders will be ready for pickup.
Trial locations could launch soon in Seattle's Ballard and SoDo neighborhoods. The stores will have several parking slots available that are assigned to customers at specific time slots when placing an AmazonFresh Pickup order --- documents mention 15- to two-hour pick up windows --- with employees putting orders together and loading them into the car. Alternatively, customers can walk into the retail area to pick up their items, or even buy items right there using the stores' tablets.
The average wait time is expected to be about five minutes.
This is the latest of several of Amazon's ventures into the brick-and-mortar retail world. Late last year the company unveiled Amazon Go, a no checkout concept store also in Seattle where shoppers can pick up goods from the shelves and leave --- everything is charged automatically to their accounts. The store is open only to the company's employees for now. In addition, Amazon has opened about 10 brick-and-mortal bookstores and even more pop up stores at shopping malls throughout the country.