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Amazon’s Drive-Up Grocery Store Experiment Gets A Fresh Name

Amazon Fresh Pickup in Seattle receives temporary occupancy approval, signage, and applies for a liquor license.

The experimental drive-up grocery store concept in Seattle, which I wrote about last month as part of a feature story on why Amazon is the World’s Most Innovative Company of 2017, is getting closer to completion—and Amazon’s ownership of the “Project X” is now undeniable.

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Last week, a permit for signage was filed with the city’s department of construction showing “Amazon Fresh Pickup” as the store name. The images shown here, which were first uncovered by GeekWire, reveal a bit more detail on how the store will work. (Amazon did not respond to a request for comment on this article.)

A quick refresher: The store, located on a busy commercial street in the fast-growing Ballard neighborhood, is an extension of the Amazon Fresh grocery service. Customers would load their digital carts remotely and pay online, then schedule a physical pickup within a two-hour window. “When picking up purchased items, customers either can drive into a designated parking area with eight parking stalls where the purchased items will be delivered to their cars, or they can walk into the retail area to pick up their items,” the original department of construction filings say.

These latest plans show the words “Hello, Ballard” in large letters across the front entrance of the building, along with a series of smaller signs mounted at each parking stall. These smaller signs appear to be electronic, and in the example from the filing one reads: “Relax while we load your groceries.”

The records also show a website url, amazon.com/pickup, which redirects to a blank page.

Amazon also applied for a liquor license at the same location, as USA Today reported in late February.

There are two other locations where Amazon has applied to build stores that match the Amazon Fresh Pickup footprint, one in Sunnyvale and the other in San Carlos, California. The San Carlos location was put on hold in the face of local opposition, but the Sunnyvale project was approved by the city’s planning commission.

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The Amazon Fresh Pickup stores, along with the no-cash-required Amazon Go convenience store, show that the e-commerce giant’s ambitions now extend into physical retail—including those Amazon Books stores, which will be open in 10 locations by the end of this year.

About the author

I'm the executive editor of Fast Company and Co.Design.

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