According to reports on May 9, Amazon has sent an email to unspecified Amazon Prime members stating that they will receive a $10 discount if they pick up products from designated locations including Whole Foods, Amazon Fresh, and Kohl’s after ordering $25 or more.
Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods are Amazon-operated grocery stores, and Kohl’s is a department store that has been partnering with Amazon for product pickup and returns since 2019. Currently, Amazon Prime members can receive free delivery or returns on their ordered items.
Amazon’s new policy is seen as an effort to increase the use of pickup locations and reduce the cost of expensive home delivery. In addition, Amazon has informed some customers that they have a pickup/return location near their shipping address, but a $1 fee will be charged for product returns through UPS stores. Delivery companies UPS and FedEx have been opening “access points” stores in rural areas where manpower is scarce and delivery costs are high.
Din Makiuba, a shipping consultant, explained that “If the utilization rate of Amazon pickup locations increases, it will help to bypass expensive home delivery costs and it is a big opportunity to save on delivery costs.”
Recently, Amazon has been implementing various measures to reduce costs due to concerns about an economic downturn. Last year, the company raised the annual Prime membership fee from $119 to $139, and imposed a delivery fee of up to $10 for grocery orders under $150.
However, some consumers are expressing their dissatisfaction. Without free shipping benefits, there is no reason to use Amazon Prime membership, according to some.
Brian Fabiano, a New York resident, told major news outlets, “My wife and I are maintaining our Prime membership because of the delivery benefits. If it’s not free shipping, what are we paying for?” and criticized Amazon’s pricing policy.