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News Link • Business/ Commerce

Amazon adds 'Instant Pickup' in U.S. brick-and-mortar push

• http://www.reuters.com, Jeffrey Dastin

The world's largest online retailer has launched 'Instant Pickup' points around five college campuses, such as the University of California at Berkeley, it said on Tuesday. Amazon has plans to add the program to more sites by the end of the year.

Shoppers on Amazon's mobile app can select from several hundred fast-selling items at each location, from snacks and drinks to phone chargers. Amazon employees in a back room then load orders into lockers within two minutes, and customers receive bar codes to access them.

The e-commerce company, which said in June it would buy Whole Foods Market Inc for $13.7 billion, has come to realize that certain transactions like buying fresh produce are hard to shift online. Its Instant Pickup program targets another laggard: impulse buys.

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