SEATTLE -- Online retailer Amazon appears to be hard at work upping its brick-and-mortar game.
The online delivery giant is reportedly building grocery pickup centers in Seattle’s Ballard and SoDo neighborhoods. Documents acquired by online tech news source GeekWire indicate the outposts will be called AmazonFresh Pickup.
Read on for three things we learned about what looks like Seattle-based Amazon’s first steps into the world of grocery pickup …
The when, who and where
The store’s hours of operation are likely 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., according to permit information obtained last year by GeekWire, though the website admits details might have changed since those documents were filed.
Documents also indicate that the outpost will be staffed by as many as 15 employees during especially busy periods and three to five people when business is slower.
The SoDo store is located within the Starbucks headquarters building, with the awning on the southeast corner of the parking lot. GeekWire did not report on any official partnership or agreement between Starbucks and Amazon, but it’s doubtful that the SoDo unit’s proximity to the coffee company is pure coincidence.
It's a sign
Signage briefly revealed during construction reads, “Your order is on the way,” and seems to be motion-activated; one of the workers appeared to be walking back and forth in front of one sign as the message turned on and off. Four small holes in the lower right corner of the signs are likely sensors.
The logical conclusion is that the signs are designed to greet drivers as they pull into the parking spots, though how the store is supposed to identify customers and connect them to their orders has not been revealed.
Give me your order
Last year’s permit documents also suggest that customers will have the option to schedule their pickup time. The average wait time is estimated to be about 5 minutes.
The documents indicate that customers will have the option to either have the purchased items placed in their trunk in one of the outpost’s eight parking stalls or walk into the store to place orders on a tablet. Walk-in customers will have their products delivered to them in-store as opposed to outside in the parking lot.