Amazon hub offers last-minute shopping for Richmond area

Amazon hub offers last-minute shopping for Richmond area

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - It's not the North Pole, but workers at Central Virginia's very own Amazon Prime Now hub are busy filling orders to be delivered across the Richmond area in time for the holidays, and in some cases in as little as one hour.

Amazon spokesperson Justin O'Kelly says Prime Now is ideal for procrastinators who put off holiday shopping or maybe even forgot about a few people on their list.

"We know people in Richmond love to shop late and often. In particular Midlothian, Glen Allen and the Fan are parts of Richmond where people focus on last minute shopping," said O'Kelly.

The facility has been open for a year, and employs more than 60 people. Amazon says it's the third busiest hub in the country.

Things have been buzzing in the lead up to Christmas and Hanukkah, which starts on the evening of Dec. 24

"I can tell you things have gotten busier just since you walked in the door here," said O'Kelly.

To use Prime Now, you must be a Prime customer. Simply pick your items via the Amazon app or website, and select one hour or two-hour delivery. One hour is delivery $7.99. Two hours is free.

Workers at the hub on Thursday were zooming through a labyrinth of shelves packed with everything from paper towels, to diapers, to USB ports, even frozen pizza, all stashed randomly around the facility.

"You wouldn't do that in your own kitchen. The spices go in one place. Here we've found out it's more efficient if we put a mixture of items on different shelves," said O'Kelly.

At the beginning of December, O'Kelly says the most popular items were gifts like electronics and video games.

Now with the clock ticking down, hot ticket items are that wrapping paper and party supplies.

O'Kelly says year round the item on most Prime Now orders are Haribo gummie bears, apparently a favorite item for Richmonders.

"Outside the holidays these are a staple in Richmond in addition to Ben and Jerry's ice cream, and bananas, and eggs," he said.

Amazon says last Christmas Eve it took them just 34 minutes to deliver an Xbox wireless controller to Midlothian at 10:46 p.m.

Amazon Prime Now is delivering up until 11:59 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Orders for two hours delivery must be placed by 9:45 p.m., and one-hour delivery orders must be placed by 9:59 p.m. on the 24th.

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