- Amazon is adding more package pickup locations through its Amazon Hub Counter program.
- The latest retailers to partner with the e-commerce giant to add pickup spots are Stage Stores, GNC and Health Mart.
- Amazon has been testing pickup counters at those retailers for a few months now, according to a press release. The company says it now has thousands of Hub Counter locations across the country and has brought tens of thousands of Amazon customers into partner retailers' stores.
Hub Counter's promise to retail partners is a win-win arrangement with Amazon. The online specialist gets a secure pickup location for customers concerned about possible theft or damage from their doorstep, not to mention somebody else's employees to staff the counters. Retailers get added traffic from Amazon's customers.
So far, according to Amazon, an "array of retailers, convenience stores, and small businesses have expressed interest in becoming a Counter partner." Patrick Supanc, global director of the Amazon Hub unit, said in a press release, "partners are thrilled with the strong engagement and additional foot traffic Counter is driving for their stores."
Along with a secure location for Amazon's customers, the pickup counters give the company greater delivery density, which could lower delivery costs per package. It also eliminates the most complex and expensive part of e-commerce orders: the last yard. Counter is part of Amazon's Hub suite of pickup options which includes Locker, Locker+ and Apartment Locker.
Amazon this year also added Hub Counter locations to hundreds of Rite Aid stores. Bryan Everett, former Rite Aid COO (who was replaced by Jim Peters earlier this month), noted in September that the drug store retailer added Amazon counters at 650 stores so far and plans to expand that to 1,500 locations.
Asked by an analyst how much traffic that has driven, Everett said the partnership "is building or driving additional traffic into the stores," according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. He added, "But it's just too early to share any additional sales results at this time."
Along with its Hub Counter locations, Amazon also has a self-service locker pickup program and a partnership with Kohl's to process returns for the e-commerce company. This year that partnership expanded to all Kohl's locations. Some data has shown Kohl's sales increased in stores where Amazon returns were accepted.
The Hub Counter service is free to Amazon customers and allows them 14 days to pick up a package from a given location. It applies to Amazon's own retail items and third-party sales that use Fulfilled by Amazon.