Amazon Adds Instant Pickup Service; Gets Slammed by Trump
With 22 physical pickup locations already situated on or near college campuses in the U.S., Amazon today said it will be adding immediately-available products for Prime Student members at five of those sites.
Under the new "Instant Pickup" offering, members of Amazon's paid subscription service for college students will be able to order and pick up "a curated selection of daily essentials" in minutes, the company said.
While that news might cheer Amazon investors as well as students, the company took a brief hit on Wall Street after President Donald Trump tweeted a criticism about the company early this morning. Amazon's shares have since rebounded and are trending higher since the president's Twitter accusation that the company is "doing great damage to tax paying retailers."
Journalists and others on Twitter were quick to connect the president's anti-Amazon tweet to this morning's editorial in The Washington Post criticizing Trump for racism. The Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.
Select Items Available 'in Minutes'
Amazon's new Instant Pickup service is rolling out first to staffed pickup locations in Atlanta; Berkeley, Calif.; College Park, Md.; Columbus, Ohio; and Los Angeles. The company said it will be expanding that service to more of its college pickup locations "in the coming months."
First launched starting in 2015, Amazon's college locations offer a staffed, physical site for delivery, pickup, and return services for paid Prime Student and Amazon Prime members. The Prime Student service is available to qualifying college enrollees with an .edu email address for $49 the first year and $99 annually after that.
With the new Instant Pickup service, some of those college locations will now allow students to order and pick up popular items, such as snacks, drinks, and electronics, including some of the company's own most popular devices, "in two minutes or less."
In recent years, Amazon has been expanding its online retail empire with a variety of brick-and-mortar options. The company now operates several physical bookstores across the U.S., and also offers quick pickup locations in Seattle for groceries and other items through AmazonFresh Pickup and a beta version Amazon Go store.
Critical Washington Post Editorial
Meanwhile, following the president's widely criticized, off-the-cuff press conference yesterday, in which he blamed "both sides" for the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, The Washington Post today published an editorial saying, "Mr. Trump not only failed to help the country heal; he made the wound wider and deeper." Initially written under the headline, "Mr. Trump gives comfort to racists," the title of editorial board's opinion piece is now, "The nation can only weep."
This morning, the president, without providing any verifying statistics or links, the president tweeted, "Amazon is doing great damage to tax paying retailers. Towns, cities and states throughout the U.S. are being hurt -- many jobs being lost!"
That tweet, like yesterday's remarks concerning the violence in Charlottesville, was quickly criticized by others online. Several news sites pointed to Amazon's rapid drop in trading value this morning after the market's opening, which briefly hit the company's worth by an estimated $6 billion. However, Amazon's shares have since gained considerably, recouping those previous losses and then some. Citing the president's comments about Charlottesville, several prominent business leaders have resigned from Trump's manufacturing council.
The president has faced widespread criticism in the wake of his comments equating the actions of white nationalists and self-described Nazis in Charlottesville over the weekend with those of anti-racist counterprotestors. A memorial service is taking place this morning for Heather Heyer, who was killed Saturday when a appeared to intentionally plow into a crowd of counterprotestors.
The driver of that vehicle, James Alex Fields Jr., is currently being held without bond and charged with several counts, including second-degree murder.