Thanks to Amazon, Americans have a new acronym to look forward to: BOPUARA, or, Buy Online Pick Up at Rite Aid. (Or, if we’re going to use the precedent set by BOPIS, maybe it’ll be BOPARA.)
In all seriousness, Amazon announced a new network of staffed pickup points, called Counter, at partner locations like drugstore Rite Aid, which allow customers to pick up their orders in-store.
As of June 27, the service is available at more than 100 U.S. Rite Aid locations, and Amazon plans to expand to more than 1,500—“from Oyster Bay, N.Y., to Chula Vista, Calif.”—by the end of the year. “Over time,” the pickup service will expand to thousands of U.S. locations through partnerships with other retailers, convenience stores and small businesses. Amazon said it is “actively looking to bring additional partners on board, including small- to mid-size businesses and other large chains.”
To use the service, customers select one of the pickup points available in their zip code upon checkout. When their order arrives, they receive an email with a barcode and a reminder of the address and the hours of the selected store.
At pickup, customers provide the barcode, and staff will scan it to retrieve the package. Customers have 14 days to collect their orders.
Amazon said delivery to Counter is available for the tens of millions of items it sells as well as for most delivery types, including same-, one- and two-day shipping, as well as standard shipping. There is no additional cost.
It uses in-house technology, which Amazon said enables a quick and simple experience for customers and partners alike.
“Counter’s straightforward pickup flow and user-friendly technology helps ensure store associates can serve customers without disrupting their daily activities,” Amazon claimed.
The ecommerce platform said it’s another quick and easy way to pick up Amazon packages.
“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,” said Jocelyn Konrad, evp, pharmacy and retail operations, in a statement.
It may also help Rite Aid sell more stuff—or at least get more customers through its doors.
Amazon has already brought Counter to the U.K. and Italy, and said, “The service has been positively received, driving strong customer engagement and additional foot traffic for partners.”
In October 2018, grocery chain Kroger and pharmacy chain Walgreens announced a similar partnership to test pickup of online Kroger orders at 13 Walgreen locations in Kentucky. At the time, a Kroger spokesperson said the brand believes customers are looking to shop on their own terms. She was not available for an update by deadline.