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Amazon's New 'Instant Pickup' Promises Your Order in Just 2 Minutes

Whether it's with a fleet of drones delivering you some DVDs and popcorn or a grocery store that lets you shop without standing in line, Amazon has long striven to increase the speed and efficiency of spending your money on the internet. So, it's no surprise that the e-commerice giant's latest enterprise promises rapid delivery of certain "daily essential" products in no less than two minutes. 

As a way to carve out a niche with college students, Amazon is launching a new service called Instant Pickup in the immediate vicinity of five university campuses, with locations already promising the speedy delivery near UCLA and UC Berkeley. More Instant Pickup locations are presumed to follow near universities in Atlanta, Columbus, Ohio, and College Park, Maryland in the future.

Available to Prime and Prime Student members, the fully-staffed outposts promise to fulfill orders placed on the app for hundreds of products, such as snacks, drinks and consumer electronics, with delivery guaranteed at the jarringly fast clip. All a customer has to do is head to the pickup location and find their order waiting for them in a cubby. While it seems like the ideal method for ordering a bag of Doritos, Amazon devices like the Echo, Echo Dot, Fire TV, and a selection of Fire tablets and Kindle e-readers are also available among the myriad options. 

Instant Pickup, while an amenity catering mainly to college students at the current moment, might portend cheaper prices once its implemented on a broader scale. Ripley McDonald, Director of Student Services at Amazon, told Reuters that items purchased through Instant Pickup might be cheaper, but declined to elaborate on the extent of price-slashing. He also noted in a press release that even though the ultra-convenient shopping option is only available at select locations today, "we’re excited about bringing this experience to more customers soon.”

The move signals yet another indication of Amazon's intent to establish itself as an industry-upending brick and mortar retailer. The company bought Whole Foods in a blockbuster $13.7 billion acquisition deal this summer, further solidifying its plans to modernize the way we shop for groceries. Its acquisition of Whole Foods came on the heels of the company's first brick and mortar supermarket prototype, Amazon GO, which intends to eliminate check out lines via smartphone scanning

Needless to say, the annoyance of waiting for an Amazon order to reach your doorstep is fast becoming a thing of the past. 

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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Esquire. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster