Amazon Fresh Pickup Experiment Is Over

Shuttered brick-and-mortar locations mark the end of company’s experiment with drive-up grocery service
Marian Zboraj
Digital Editor
Marian Zboraj
amazon fresh pickup seattle
The Ballard location was one of two Fresh Pickup facilities in Seattle that Amazon used to test drive-in grocery service.

Amazon has shuttered the last of its two Fresh Pickup facilities in Seattle. The Sodo facility closed last month. 

Dubbed “a new model of grocery shopping,” Fresh Pickup launched in 2017. Amazon opened two facilities in Seattle — one in Sodo and the other in Ballard. The facilities served as a dedicated drive-up grocery pickup service for Amazon Prime members, as well as a drop-off spot for package returns. 

How it worked, as reported by The Seattle Times, was that Fresh Pickup customers would place a grocery order online, and then schedule a time to pick up their items. Shoppers would drive up to the store and wait in their car while a grocery worker loaded their bags into the vehicle.

At the time, according to The Seattle Times, the Fresh Pickup concept was considered yet another signal that Amazon was serious about entering the grocery business, with the format one of many brick-and-mortar shopping experiences that the company was testing. 

However, Amazon never expanded its Fresh Pickup stores outside of Seattle. The company shuttered the Ballard neighborhood location in January 2023.

Nonetheless, Amazon’s experimentation in the grocery sector continues today. Last month, the e-commerce giant revealed that it’s testing a grocery subscription for Prime members. Customers who are part of that membership program can pay $9.99 a month to get “unlimited” groceries delivered from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market on orders of more than $35. 

In November 2023, the company also revealed it was expanding free Amazon Fresh grocery pickup and delivery beyond Prime members to all U.S. consumers. at that time, Amazon noted that Prime members would continue to receive their own unique benefits, including exclusive discounts. Also last year, the company reduced its order minimum for free Amazon Fresh delivery from $150 to $100. 

Additionally, physical retail remains an important part of Amazon’s evolving grocery business. Last year, Amazon Fresh held grand reopening events for two of its redesigned stores in the Chicago area. The updated stores feature an expanded selection, a greater number of lower-priced offerings and enhanced checkout options. The company also conducted similar updates to three other Amazon stores in the Los Angeles market.

Seattle-based Amazon is No. 2 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named the company one of its Retailers of the Century.

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