Amazon's next retail outlets are drive-up grocery stores

AmazonFresh Pickup might soon open in two Seattle neighborhoods.

Blend Images/Dave and Les Jacobs

Seattle residents might be able to order groceries from AmazonFresh online and pick them up from a brick-and-mortar outlet in the near future. The city has given the company permission to install "AmazonFresh Pickup" signs in Seattle's Ballard and SoDo neighborhoods. GeekWire captured some photos of the locations under construction last month. Now the fillings it has unearthed indicate that the drive-up grocery outlets are almost ready to open for business. According to the documents, the shops will have signs that say "HELLO, BALLARD" and "HELLO, SODO." Their exterior walls will also be painted with slogans like "Shop online. Pick up here." and "Relax while we load your groceries."

Amazon has been thinking of building drive-up retail stores for years now. They're a totally different concept from the company's no-checkout Amazon Go experiment in the same state. While Go will allow you to walk in and buy stuff without having to line up for payment, these ones will have eight parking slots you can reserve so you can drive up to claim your online purchase. They'll employ personnel who'll focus on bringing bags of groceries to your car, but you can also walk into the warehouse where other staff members put orders together to pick them up. You can even buy items right there using the stores' tablets.

GeekWire says the documents mention the URL It doesn't lead anywhere at the moment, but it will most likely go live when the e-commerce giant makes an official announcement. Considering the publication caught a crew filming at the SoDo location, launch day might not be that far off.

[Image credit: Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections/GeekWire]