Worried about your Amazon package sitting outside all day? Whole Foods has an answer

Six months after it bought Whole Foods, Amazon says it has quietly rolled out its secure package delivery system, Amazon Locker, to all Whole Foods stores, including Boise’s.

The Boise store, at 401 S. Broadway Ave., now has a bank of orange lockers next to bins filled with apples, oranges and other fruits and vegetables. Amazon customers can add the locker location to their online address books and have their purchases sent there instead of their homes.

A Statesman reporter had a purchase delivered to a locker Thursday. Shortly after noon, the reporter received a text message and an email saying the package was ready for pickup. Both messages provided a six-digit code to punch in on a touchscreen at the bank of lockers. The email included a barcode for scanning instead.

Without a sound, a compartment door opened to reveal the reporter’s package. The process was quick and easy. No help from a Whole Foods worker was needed.

Although many retailers allow online customers to have products shipped to local stores, Amazon is the only one to offer secure lockers that do not require a store employee to hand over the merchandise. The lockers can also be used for Amazon returns.

Access is available only when the store is open. The Boise store — the only Whole Foods in Idaho — is open from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

You must retrieve a package within three business days of notification. As a security precaution, Amazon sends a follow-up email to alert you that your package had been picked up from the locker.

Amazon_detail open locker recropped
As soon as the code it typed in or scanned, a door opens to reveal the package. Returns can also be sent to Amazon through the setup. John Sowell

There are some limits:

▪ Packages must have a shipping weight of less than 20 pounds.

▪ The box must be smaller than 19x12x14 inches.

▪ The products must have a value of less than $5,000.

▪ Items must be sold or fulfilled by Amazon.

Amazon launched its Locker program in 2011 in Seattle, New York and London.

Last fall, the company launched Amazon Key. For Amazon Prime customers in select cities with a $250 kit that includes a security camera and a smart door lock, delivery drivers can go inside a customer’s house to drop off a package. The service is not available in Idaho.

While some people applauded Key, others questioned whether Amazon was creating fresh security concerns. The company plans to expand the service over time. Last month, Amazon bought Ring, a company that makes security cameras and doorbells connected to the Internet.

John Sowell: 208-377-6423, @JohnWSowell

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