Amazon introduces Counter in UK and Italy
Tech giant Amazon is to launch a new click and collect service in Europe.
Initially launching in the UK and Italy, Amazon hopes to bring on businesses to expand the service across Europe. At launch, customers will be able to pick up parcels from retail outfits such as the British retailer Next and the Italian bookstore chain Giunti. As is often the case for Amazon’s services, the feature will be free for members of its Prime subscription. Thousands of locations will be available at launch across the two countries.
Said Lord Wolfson, CEO of Next PLC: "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."
While Amazon describes Counter as part of the same “Hub” family as its pre-existing Lockers, it is keen to emphasises that the Counter technology is built from the ground up to be a quicker and simpler experience for customers. They emphasise the reciprocal nature of operating inside retail environments, saying that their Counter service can drive engagement between stores and their customers.
Amazon’s future hopes for the service are illustrated by the example they use in their press release of an Italian stationery store whose owner reported an increase of customers coming into his shop during the trial of Counter. He said that when customers came to pick up parcels, they would buy items such as newspapers or chewing gum.
Patrick Supanc, Amazon Director of Lockers and Pickup, laid out the path the service intends to take, saying: "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."
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