Amazon opens new pick-up location at UIC

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Amazon is making it easier for people in Chicago to pick up their purchases.

A new pick-up location launched on the UIC campus Thursday morning. It's located on the 2nd floor of Student Center East at 750 S. Halsted Street.

The package is placed in a locker when it's delivered. All you do is scan the bar code from your order, and then you can grab it.

"We knew students needed an additional option for convenience, security and for fast way to pick up the things they need for life on campus," Tony Caravano, Amazon employee, said.

UIC officials said it serves a practical purpose for students.

"I have a book that I have to read for class. It was supposed to get here Friday but it came here a day earlier," Jackie Lin, a UIC student said.

The pickup and return center is an added convenience for Elizabeth Middleton who has already started Christmas shopping for her kids.

"I have a 10-year-old and 5-year-old so it's a lot easier to pick up here than drag everybody to the store," Middleton said.

Amazon making easy for online customers isn't necessarily welcome news for local retailers.

"It hurts my heart a little bit," Kim Hiley, Tribeca owner, said.

Some small business owners along Madison Street said online shopping has changed the way they do business.

"I have to try so much harder with social media. I get here at seven or eight in morning so I can take my pictures and make the store look beautiful. You just have to try harder," Hiley said.

Some admitted online shoppers said there is no replacing in-store shopping for some things.

"I like being able to see things. It smells amazing here. I'll probably ask her what candles she burning. You can't smell on line," Nicole Oliverio, a shopper, said.

"It's not until they see it that they realize this is what I want and if they're last minute then they don't have time," Ann Sinclair, The Fig Tree, said.

As online retail giant Amazon offers more options to customers, small local retailers get creative offering unique shopping experiences.

Amazon Prime members and Prime students will have access to same-day pick-up if the order is placed by noon.
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