Amazon's grocery pickup service opens for business

Online retail behemoth continues its quest to disrupt the grocery industry

After testing its grocery pickup service on employees at two Seattle locations in March, Amazon has opened the curbside kiosks to members of its Prime loyalty program.

AmazonFresh Pickup allows shoppers to order grocery items -- including produce, bread, meat, dairy and household cleaners  -- online or via mobile. Amazon workers will have the order bagged and ready in as little as 15 minutes, and will deliver the items to the shopper's car.

There is no minimum purchase required and the service is free, aside from the $99-a-year Prime membership fee, which gives users delivery discounts and unlimited video and music streaming, among other perks.

According to Britain's Daily Mail newspaper, Amazon has registered trademarks for the store's taglines -- including 'No Lines. No Checkout. (No, Seriously.)' -- which has led to speculation that the service could soon be offered in the U.K.

The pickup locations are the latest in a string of experiments from the online retail behemoth. At an Amazon Go convenience store in Seattle, items selected are automatically monitored and added to a virtual cart so shoppers can skip the checkout.

Grocery has been slow to shift online, leaving Amazon at a disadvantage to rivals such as Walmart, which has a robust in-store grocery offering. In Canada, the big box retailer continues to test its home grocery delivery service. Amazon already has a grocery delivery service in some cities throughout the U.S.

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