amazon fresh pickup seattle

Amazon Fresh has opened up its Seattle drive-through grocery stores to the public after two months of testing.

The company began testing the two stores, located in the SoDo and Ballard neighbourhoods, among employees in March.

Following the public opening yesterday, Prime members will now be able to place orders online and collect their groceries from the store in dedicated time slots, the quickest of which will be 15 minutes after ordering.

There is no minimum order or collection charge for the service, which promises to sell ‘thousands of items at low prices’ including fresh produce, high-quality meat and everyday essentials.

Customers are not able to enter the premises, but wait for staff to bring their orders to their cars.

The opening follows months of speculation over Amazon adding drive-through sites to its expanding its bricks-and-mortar portfolio.

In December, Amazon revealed its first physical store in the form of Amazon Go. The Seattle site uses sensor technology to keep track of what customers put in their baskets and take payment when they leave - eliminating the need to pay at the till - and is still in testing mode.

The store was due to open to the public in “early 2017” but the launch date is understood to have been postponed due to technical problems.

But the online giant still seems keen to take the concept to the UK, having trademarked two Amazon Go slogans with the Intellectual Property Office earlier this month.