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HolidayBuyer's Guide

The entrance into Amazon's Midtown Manhattan warehouse

Using the Amazon Prime Now app

Prime Now lockers

Inside the urban warehouse

Looking down an aisle

A random assortment

Pallets of goods

Cold and frozen deliveries, too

Preparing new orders

Getting orders out the door

Time to make a delivery

On the way

Delivered

The entrance and lobby of 7 W. 34th Street fit that of a modern office tower. Yet, while many of the building's floors are filled with office space, Amazon built out the fifth floor with an urban distribution center so it can quick deliver packages around Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The Manhattan distribution center helps power Prime Now, a rapid-deliveries service Amazon started last year, Prime Now, available through a mobile app, can deliver tens of thousands of products including electronics, diapers and household cleaners in two hours or less.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The building's lobby has a row of Prime Now lockers, to allow customers to pick up orders, providing a hint of what's on the fifth floor.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The fifth floor warehouse is 50,000 square feet, just a fraction of the size of a typical 1-million-square-foot Amazon distribution center.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Despite the space's small size, Amazon managed to cram in thousands of products.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The assortment on the shelves at the Manhattan location are intentionally random to ensure there isn't a traffic jam of workers in any one location. "The random sorting actually creates more efficiencies," spokeswoman Kelly Cheeseman said.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

In one corner are pallets filled with larger items, including soda, bottled water and Razor scooters.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Nearby are rows of refrigerators and freezers that are stocked with orange juice, almond milk and ice cream.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Amazon workers buzz around the tight aisles of the warehouse, filling brown bags with orders to quickly ship out.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

At the front of the warehouse, completed orders are prepared for delivery.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Here courier Sylvester Alderman checks an Amazon Prime Now app on his phone that tells him where to go for his next order.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Amazon workers walk, bike, ride the bus and subway, and drive vans to deliver orders around Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Alderman walks a few blocks down the street to an apartment building, where he delivers his package in a few minutes.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
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