Amazon launched a new service in the UK and Italy called Counter, a “click & collect” option that allows buyers to pick up their orders from retail stores. Amazon is looking for partners of all sizes, from family-run corner shops to retail chains, as it expands the program throughout the year.
Press release follows:
Amazon today announced the launch of Counter – a new network of staffed pick up points that allows customers to collect their Amazon parcels in-store at a partner location. At launch, customers will have access to thousands of Counter locations in the UK and Italy, with more locations and partners coming on board across Europe in the future. Starting today, delivery to an Amazon Counter location is available on the tens of millions of items sold on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.it and works with One-Day and Standard Shipping. The service is available at no extra cost to Prime members.
Counter is part of the Amazon Hub family, which includes Lockers. Amazon designed and built the technology for Counter from the ground-up, resulting in a quicker and simpler experience for customers. For store partners, Counter enables store staff to serve customers without disrupting their daily activities, driving meaningful engagement between stores and their customers.
“With Counter, we’ve used technology to enhance and redesign the click and collect experience,” explains Patrick Supanc, Amazon Director of Lockers and Pickup. “We’re excited for customers to experience this service at one of the thousands of stores now available for Counter, but we’re not stopping there. We’re now actively looking to bring even more partners onboard across Europe — from family-run corner shops to retail chains — businesses of all sizes can take advantage of the opportunity as we expand the Counter network for customers.”
Following successful trials with launch partners, Amazon Counter goes live today and will be rolled out across partner stores throughout 2019, including at hundreds of NEXT stores in the UK and thousands of stores in Italy with our partners Giunti, Fermopoint and SisalPay.
Feedback from these trials paints a positive picture of how adding Counter to a store’s retail offer could help attract increased footfall. Andrea Locatelli, Owner of Teresa, a stationery store in Chiuduno, Italy, reported an increase of customers coming into his shop during the trial, and noted that when customers came in to pick up their Amazon parcels, they would also often buy a newspaper, chewing gum, or small gift.
“We are really happy to be an Amazon Counter launch partner. It’s a useful and simple service that will satisfy the needs of our existing customers and help attract new ones,” said Roberto Leuci, owner of Bar Roby, a SisalPay store in Corso Indipendenza in Milan. “The Italian bar is a traditional gathering place where the people of the neighborhood go to drink coffee, pay bills and socialize. Amazon Counter is now one of the range of services we provide to the community and it is an important development for the growth of our small but precious family business that has served Milanese citizens for over 30 years.”
Lord Wolfson, CEO of Next PLC, said: “The ability to collect Amazon parcels from hundreds of NEXT’s UK stores provides a helpful and exciting new service for UK consumers. Amazon Counter combines the internet’s power to offer unprecedented choice with all the convenience of local stores. In a tough retail environment our aim is that Amazon Counter will contribute to the continued relevance and vibrancy of our stores.”
“Amazon Counter will be an engine to further develop our valued and innovative service and help our store partners attract more customers to their shops,” says Alberto Luisi, CEO and Founder of Fermopoint, a network of local stores across Italy. “The partnership with Amazon represents a new and inspiring reason for growth for Fermopoint. We are happy to work alongside a company that puts customers at the centre of everything it does – a philosophy that we fully embrace.”
After shopping on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.it, customers proceed to checkout and select a Counter pick up point as their delivery location. As soon as their package arrives at the store, the customer receives an e-mail notification with a unique barcode as well as the address and opening hours of their selected store, and will have 14 days to collect their parcel. At the store, customers show the barcode to the partner store staff, who will scan it, retrieve the package, and hand it to the customer.
Watch a video of how Counter partners and small business owners, Andrea Locatelli and his sister Chiara, transformed their stationery shop in Chiuduno, Italy by becoming a convenient pick up point for Amazon customers.
Counter is part of the Amazon Hub family, which includes Lockers. For more information on Amazon Hub, or to find a location near you, visit amazon.co.uk/hub or amazon.it/hub.
SOURCE: Amazon UK Press Release