Amazon to test retail robots underneath former downtown Macy’s building

Aug 16, 2022, 12:38 PM
Macy's located in downtown Seattle

Amazon plans to turn the basement of the former downtown Seattle Macy’s building into a testing site for retail robots.

The building sold for $580 million in April 2021, after the historic Macy’s closed its doors the year prior. Amazon had already moved into the building’s upper floors in 2017.

As part of the project, the autonomous robots would grab storage pods and bring them to in-person employees, who would select the specific items they need and send the robots back to the storage facility.

Two months earlier, Lockeford, Calif. became the testing ground for Amazon to deliver packages via drones.

Amazon to use air drones for deliveries later this year, trial run in CA

The drones can fly up to 50 miles per hour and can carry packages of up to five pounds as high up as 400 feet in the air.

Amazon has yet to release a definitive timeline for when the company would deploy the robots, but it is rumored the robots will play a role in the e-commerce giant’s expansion of physical clothing stores. The company recently opened its first Amazon Style storefront in Glendale, California, and has been hiring for other roles connected to its brick-and-mortar clothing operation, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.

The robot automation project has been coined “Project Lucy.”

The company hasn’t opened a clothing store in the Seattle area, but has recently started hiring for roles in Seattle, including a site manager for an Amazon Style testing lab.

Amazon Studios is currently located in Culver City, Calif., five hours from the company’s testing ground for drone deliveries.

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Amazon to test retail robots underneath former downtown Macy’s building