As it expands its presence in the Charlotte area, Amazon has quietly added dozens of lockers at area retailers where customers can pick up their orders.
The Seattle-based e-commerce giant recently installed 26 such lockers at retailers around the Charlotte metro area, including 20 at area QuikTrip locations. Amazon says they’re intended to provide a safe place for delivery retrieval for customers who might not want a package sitting on their doorstep.
But the lockers are also popular for retailers, who say they like the extra foot traffic.
Mike Thornbrugh, a QuikTrip spokesman, said the company tested the lockers successfully in Phoenix and Atlanta before opening them in Charlotte. QT is relatively new to Charlotte’s competitive convenience store scene, and Thornbrugh said the hope is that customers picking up their orders might stop into a store for a snack or drink on their way out.
Amazon also added the lockers at four area 7-Eleven stores, the Epicentre and Northlake Mall.
Northlake spokeswoman Sherri Chisolm-Whiteside said the lockers are considered “another amenity” for shoppers, like its free Wi-Fi. “With the residential growth in the area surrounding Northlake Mall, the lockers offer a secure delivery point for packages in lieu of having packages left unattended on porches or at front doors.”
To use the new features locally, customers ordering from Amazon.com select “lockers” as the delivery address at checkout, Amazon said. Customers then receive a text or email with a pickup code once the package is delivered, and then they can visit the locker and enter the pickup code on a touch screen to get their package. Locker locations can be found at www.amazon.com/findalocker.
Amazon’s initiative comes just in time for the busy holiday shopping season. The National Retail Federation says “non-store” retail sales could climb as much as 10 percent this year to $117 billion.
Amazon has been growing its local presence in other ways, too: It’s hiring at a new receiving center on Old Dowd Road in west Charlotte, and it also has distribution center in Concord, where it employs about 360 people.