By: Nick Gambino

Amazon recently announced a service whereby one of their delivery people would enter your home to drop off your package instead of leaving it at your front door. This was in response to the issue of stolen packages that’s unfortunately fairly common.

While many like myself appreciate the extra effort, the idea of a stranger entering my home when I’m not there doesn’t exactly put me at ease. The company has now introduced a new service that’s more along the lines of a real solution.

Counter is a pick-up service that allows you to get your packages delivered to a physical store where you can then pick them up yourself. And the best part about it is it’s free. Counter is available for packages sent any number of ways including Same-Day, One-Day, Two-Day and even Standard Shipping.

“With Counter, we’ve leveraged our growing logistics network and invested in new, easy to use technology to give customers yet another delivery option rooted in flexibility and control,” Worldwide Director of Amazon Hub, Patrick Supanc, said. “We are excited to partner with national businesses like Rite Aid, and local businesses in the future, to create an outstanding experience for our shared customers.”

All you have to do when you show up to retrieve your package is show your unique barcode contained in an e-mail from Amazon. It’ll stay at the location for 14 days, and if not collected within that window, your order will be refunded and the items shipped back. So you don’t have the option of leaving it there indefinitely.

Amazon’s pick-up service isn’t exactly new as it originally started in Europe and the UK before launching in the U.S. this week. Albeit, it’s slightly different over there and required customers to pick up their packages from a post office or newsagent.

Amazon has partnered up with Rite-Aid to provide the “counter” in which you’ll receive your package. It’s available at over 100 Rite-Aid locations to start and will expand to all 1,500 locations by year’s end. The pharmacy giant was the perfect choice to launch the service as many already had Amazon Lockers.

In addition to offering an alternative to home delivery, the move is seen as a way for Amazon to make good with brick-and-mortar stores they’ve sort of made obsolete. By driving customers into their physical locations, these stores might gain extra business beyond just the pick-up.