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Delivery wars heating up again; Amazon announces new plan you’re gonna love

Let’s face it, sometimes it’s risky to have packages delivered to your home if you’re not there to receive them. You’ve seen the home surveillance videos of strangers, and sometimes even neighbors, grabbing a package left on your doorstep.

To protect against such thefts, Amazon already has its Locker service operating in more than 900 cities and towns across the nation where consumers can pick up their packages. Amazon Locker self-service kiosks also can be used to return packages.

As more and more retailers get into the same-day delivery or store-pickup business, Amazon is trying to keep up. Amazon launched a feature this week called Counter, staffed pickup points where you can pick up your packages in-store at a partner location. We’ll show you how Counter works and help you compare prices on the various store delivery options.

Amazon partners with brick-and-mortar retailer for customer convenience

Along with announcing Counter, Amazon also named its first retail partner to roll out the new service. Counter has already gone live at more than 100 Rite Aid stores across the U.S. Amazon hopes to have Counter in all 1,500 Rite Aide stores by the end of the year. The company also said it will be looking for more partners ranging from small to large retailers.

Counter works with same-day, one-day, two-day and standard shipping. The service is free and available to all Amazon customers.

“Amazon is always looking for innovative and convenient ways for customers to ship and receive their orders,” stated Patrick Supanc, worldwide director of Amazon Hub. “With Counter, we’ve leveraged our growing logistics network and invested in new, easy-to-use technology to give customers yet another delivery option rooted in flexibility and control.”

What does Rite Aid get out of the partnership? The chain hopes the deal will increase foot traffic and encourage more in-store purchases.


Related: Drop off Amazon returns at Kohl’s


Before the U.S. rollout, Amazon tested Counter at stores in the U.K. and Italy. With Counter, Amazon will be providing a service that many major retailers have offered for years.

To ship to a Counter store partner, after you finish selecting your products, go to Checkout where you can select one of the Counter pickup points available in your ZIP code as the delivery location. As soon as your package arrives at the store, you will receive an email notification with a barcode, the selected pickup store’s address and business hours.

At the store, you provide the barcode to store staff, who will scan it and retrieve the package. Along with the person-to-person transaction, you have 14 days to collect your package. If you use Amazon Locker, you only have three days to retrieve your package before it is returned.


Related: New way Amazon is delivering to you


Retailer’s offering grocery delivery options

Once the reigning behemoth in the same-day delivery service, Amazon is now fending off two major rivals. After Amazon launched its Prime Free One-Day, service Walmart stepped into the ring with its more limited NextDay delivery option that doesn’t require a subscription fee as long as a minimum amount of purchases are made.

Then Amazon revealed that drone delivery was coming “within months.” And earlier this month, Target expanded its same-day delivery service, Shipt, on thousands of items including groceries.

Now, groceries are in play as each retailer vies to provide consumers with more convenient and more affordable services. Here’s a breakdown of how much Amazon, Walmart and Target’s unlimited options currently cost:

Walmart Delivery Unlimited

Price: 15-day free trial period, then $12.95 per month OR $98 annually on orders of $30 or more.

Amazon Prime/Whole Foods

Price: $119 Prime membership AND add an optional $15 to access Amazon Fresh.


Price: Two weeks free when signing up as an annual member, which costs $99 OR $14 per month for orders of $35 or more.

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