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| News stories | Amazon ramps up its drop-off delivery network
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10 December 2014

Amazon ramps up its drop-off delivery network

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Amazon.co.uk is establishing a network of 500 collection points for home shopping at newsagents’ shops, operating in cooperation with Connect Group, the owner of Smiths News, the newspaper distributor. It is calling the service Pass my Parcel.

As part of the development Amazon is offing same-day deliveries through selected stores. Consumers are able to order up to 11.45am for delivery to the store by 4pm the same day.

Amazon Prime customers are being offered this facility free of charge for the time being. "This is our fastest pick-up service yet," says managing director Christopher North.

There is also an Express Morning collection option, under which orders placed up to 7.45 pm are available for guaranteed collection the next morning. Amazon says the item will be delivered from 6.30am onwards, and no later than 9am (depending on the store opening time).

The arrangement with Smiths is unusual. Until now most retailers offering a drop-off service have used either their own stores (not an option for Amazon, of course) or a third-party service such as CollectPlus. Amazon in fact does use CollectPlus, but the Pass my Parcel offer is a separate branded service exclusive to Amazon.

In practice, the various offers all contribute to a drive by the company to smooth the delivery process. It says it now has 6,000 pick-up points in all, including several hundred Amazon Lockers (believed to include more than 100 at Cooperative stores).

Amazon has also established pickup points at Birmingham International Airport and a number of London tube stations.

Smiths News was originally part of the WH Smith retail empire, but was demerged in 2006, and adopted the corporate name Connect Group in 2014.

* Amazon is understood to be planning to open its own store New York City. It appears that it will not actually retail goods in the conventional way, but will serve as a fulfilment centre for local customers, and also as a click and collect base for products bought online. In effect, it will be a company-owned pickup point.



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