The locations function as little centralized Amazon shipping hubs for normal pickups and returns, but they also enable one-day pickup for a large selection of items available through the online retail giant. The Seattle location will serve the northern part of the city at 14333 Aurora Ave. N.
The first of these locations in the Northwest, “Amazon@DowntownPortland” opened in Amazon’s southerly neighbor city last September. Of course, Seattle does boast two AmazonFresh grocery pickup locations, Amazon Go, a futuristic no-checkout convenience store and likely whatever other future retail experiments the company delves into.
As staffed, standalone Amazon-branded storefronts, the Amazon pickup locations are distinct from the Amazon Lockers found in convenience stores and other locations in many cities. Amazon also notes that these pickup locations offer same-day or one-day pickup for Prime members, in-person assistance and packing supplies for returns. Both flavors of Amazon pickup location are open to non-Prime members, though Prime members also enjoy no order minimums for items sent to a pickup location.
Last year, Amazon targeted college students with a little flurry of college-focused “Instant Pickup points,” essentially convenience stores that functioned as an Amazon shipping center but also kept essentials like beverages, phone chargers and personal care items in stock. Those locations were opened across five U.S. college campuses, located in Berkeley, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Columbus, Ohio and Maryland.
After the student rollout, Amazon began quietly opening more staffed non-college affiliated pickup locations that offered the shipping perks without the student-friendly stocked items. While it declined to list them all out, Amazon tells TechCrunch that it now has more than 30 pickup locations across the U.S.