Valentine's Day often brings out the last-minute shopper in all of us. Why settle for gas station roses when you could get some finely-tailored Japanese clothing instead? From now through February 17, Uniqlo and Square Market are teaming up to offer Bay-Area lovers on-demand gifts. Shoppers can buy everything from scarves to jackets online, and pick up a wrapped and ready-to-go gift for the love of their life at the store in an hour or less. San Francisco residents already have options like eBay Now and Google Shopping to get items delivered quickly, but neither allow in-person pickups. The Uniqlo partnership is a first attempt at in-person pickups for Square Market, but it's an idea we could see working at a number of different types of retailers all year long.
We gave the promotion a try, and were impressed with not only how fast the shopping experience was, but also how fast our purchase was ready. To shop you just need to pick a store location, and browse the available items. When you make a purchase you're given an estimated pickup time, and a text message a few minutes later confirms that time or adjusts it. In our case, our purchase was ready in just 20 minutes. Inside Uniqlo there's a special table for pickup, so you're able to bypass all the lines, and look like the thoughtful lover you want to be, rather than the busy, forgetful one you actually are.