Amazon offers customers $10 to pick up purchases as it targets delivery costs

LOS ANGELES, May 8 (Reuters) – ( AMZN.O ) is offering customers $10 to pick up a purchase instead of having it shipped to a home address, as the e-commerce giant joins other retailers to cut the cost of home delivery and returns due to weak consumer demand.

In recent days, Amazon has sent emails to an undisclosed number of Prime subscribers offering them $1[ads1]0 to pick up an order of $25 or more at the company’s pickup points in places like Whole Foods, Amazon Fresh or Kohl’s stores.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Upstate New York-based shipping consultant Dean Maciuba was among the clients who received the offer.

Increasing use of Amazon’s pickup points will help the company bypass costly home package drop-offs and is “a big opportunity for Amazon to reduce the cost of delivery,” Maciuba said.

It also helps educate consumers to provide tender returns directly to the company, he said.

Separately, Amazon has begun charging some customers a $1 fee if they return packages via a United Parcel Service ( UPS.N ) store when there is an Amazon pickup/return location closer to their delivery address, a change first reported by news site The Information.

Shipping companies UPS and FedEx ( FDX.N ) have encouraged customers to use so-called access points, especially in rural areas where delivery to remote addresses can be cost-prohibitive.

Amazon worked for years to educate consumers to expect fast shipping and no-fee returns. As the company tightens its belt after a period of explosive growth, it has made a number of moves to reduce delivery-related costs across the company.

Amazon late last year raised the price of its annual Prime subscription that includes free shipping benefits by $20 to $139. It has also raised minimum order thresholds for free grocery delivery, encouraged customers to have all their packages delivered on a specific day of the week, and expanded faster same-day package delivery with a fee for orders under $25.

Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Sandra Maler

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Lisa Baertlein

Thomson Reuters

Lisa Baertlein covers the movement of goods around the world, with an emphasis on sea transport and last mile delivery. In her spare time you will find her sailing, painting or exploring state and national parks.

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