Amazon Counter enables quick and easy pickup of packages from retail locations

Amazon: Rite Aid partnership to offer in-store package pickup for customers

Amazon: Rite Aid partnership to offer in-store package pickup for customers

Jocelyn Konrad, executive VP, pharmacy and retail operations of Rite Aid, said being the first store partner for Counter in the U.S.is a differentiator for Rite Aid, "and we believe our partnership with Amazon, that includes Locker, creates a stronger in-store experience for existing customers and new customers that come in to pick up their packages".

Counter lets customers pick up packages from their local Rite-Aid. Amazon is also looking to get other retailers, including small businesses, to join the program as it expands. Amazon also has 2,800 lockers in more than 70 US cities, including those in Amazon-owned Whole Foods stores, retail chains like Safeway and 7-Eleven, and small businesses.

Here how the process works: Amazon says that after shopping on Amazon.com, customers will proceed to the checkout and select one of the Counter pickup points available in their zip code as their delivery location.

But Amazon has been pushing into health care itself, buying online pharmacy PillPack a year ago. Because having packages delivered directly to the home isn't always practical, the pickup option enables consumers to purchase online and receive the shipment at their convenience.

The new option, called Counter, will launch with pharmacy Rite Aid Corp offering the service in 100 stores, with an expansion to 1,500 stores by year's end, the companies said.

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"I'd be nervous about the wolf in the cage here", said Reily.

Shares of Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) jumped as high as 36% on Thursday, even though the drugstore chain posted a weaker-than-expected first quarter. However, with that partnership, as well as Amazon's return policy with Kohl's ($NYSE:KSS) - which starts in July - and existing brick-and-mortar locations with Whole Foods and Lockers, Amazon is quietly trojan horsing the entire country with retail presence. Kohl's has said the deal has helped boost sales.

Kohl's and Amazon have been working together since 2017, when Kohl's started selling Amazon Kindles, Echos and other gadgets at some of its stores. Once in the store, the customer shows an employee a barcode, and the employee scans it, finds the package and hands it over.

While Amazon doesn't have the retail square footage of Walmart yet, Counter points to a future in which it would surpass both Target and Walmart on that metric. Customers will have 14 days to pick up their packages.

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