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The latest way Amazon is taking over—and why it’s good news for your healthy habits


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Whether you want a vegan cookbook, a jump rope for your workout routine, or a charcoal face mask, chances are Amazon is one of the first places you look—the retail giant has everything. But there’s one shopping habit the mega-retailer hasn’t yet conquered: impulse buys. What is the digital equivalent to buying something on a whim right off the rack?

Well, it was only a matter of time until they figured it out. This week, Amazon announced the launch of Instant Pickup, allowing users to get certain Amazon purchases at a brick-and-mortar store immediately after buying through the app.

So yes, Amazon is essentially attempting to take down vending machines—and other of-the-moment impulse purchasing.

“[If you want something because you’re thirsty], there’s no chance you’re going to order that on Amazon and wait however long it’s going to take for that to ship to you,” Ripley MacDonald, Amazon’s director of student programs tells CNBC. So yes, Amazon is essentially attempting to take down vending machines—and other of-the-moment impulse purchasing.

The retailer launched its new feature in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Columbus, OH, and College Park, MD. Here’s how it works: Amazon’s app will have a special section of items shoppers will be able to get ASAP at one of the Instant Pickup locations—whether it’s food, drinks, personal care items, or tech needs (AKA a phone charger you need immediately).

And yes, if you’re going to have to schlep out to get something, you could just hit up the nearest drug store, Best Buy, or bodega—but with Amazon’s app, the upside is that you know that what you want will be there when you show up. So if you’re on your way to a workout and realized you forgot headphones, deodorant, or hair ties, this could make life a whole lot easier.

Make sure you’re up-to-date with everything about the Amazon-Whole Foods deal with this handy cheat sheet. And you’ve heard about their no-checkout line grocery stores, right?

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