In a major expansion of its ‘Pick-up Location’ programme Amazon also said that users will be able to order by 7.45pm to pick up from 6.30am the following day. It will initially be free to members of Amazon’s £79 per year Prime premium service and £4.99 per delivery for non-members.
The collection locations will largely be based in newsagents and convenience shops, as well as at the lockers Amazon has been installing at sites such as Tube and train stations.
The company has previously said that its use of existing venues drives people back to high streets where they spend more money in other shops.
Chris North, Managing Director of Amazon.co.uk said: “We know that customers want a variety of different delivery options and many are choosing collection from pick-up locations as their preferred delivery method. You can certainly expect us to continue to add more and more pick up locations to the thousands already in existence.”
The 500 that will initially be part of the rapid service will take their deliveries as part of a collaboration between Amazon and newspaper and magazine distributor Smiths News.
“We know that Prime customers love fast delivery and the convenience to pick up their order at a time and place that suits them best,” said Mr North. He claimed: “This new service brings together both of those great benefits.” Mark Cashmore, Chief Executive of Connect Group, said the company was “uniquely placed to deliver a twice daily pick-up service that is second to none in speed and convenience”.
Some collection options will be limited by the opening times of the shops being used. Once a location is chosen and the order placed, a code is emailed to the customer for presentation at the stores, which will be branded ‘Pass My Parcel’.
The site said overall it now offers more than 6,000 pick-up locations including ‘Pass my Parcel’ stores, Collect+ stores and Amazon Lockers. It claimed deliveries made to Amazon Lockers nationally have more than doubled in the last year.
“We have recently added Birmingham International Airport and a number of London tube stations to our ever-expanding list of pick-up locations,” said Mr North. “Our intention is to keep rapidly adding to the many thousands of existing pick-up locations to ensure that customers all over the UK are provided with as much choice as possible when it comes to the delivery of their Amazon order.”
In America, Amazon has begun to build a small number of physical stores, aimed primarily at showcasing its own Kindle tablets and e-readers.