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Amazon goes to school, opens its first pickup location on Purdue’s campus

February 3, 2015 04:40 PM
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Buying your college textbooks used to mean going to the campus bookstore at the start of the semester. Now, Amazon.com Inc. wants to be the place where students buy their books—and just about everything else they use to outfit their dorms or apartments.

North America’s largest online retailer Tuesday opened its Amazon@Purdue location on Purdue’s campus in the Krach Leadership Center, which is centrally located between student housing and the university’s main campus. Students will be able to pick up and return an order at the location, which is Amazon’s first staffed customer order pickup and drop-off location.

It's Amazon’s latest attempt to capture more of the college student market. In addition to West Lafayette, IN-based Purdue, the retailer has developed online stores at two other schools, the University of California, Davis and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Amazon has agreed to give those schools an unspecified percentage of the sales through its school-specific online stores.

“Whether students are ordering textbooks, laptops, or mac and cheese, Amazon and Purdue are now providing a convenient and secure spot for them to pick up their stuff at hours that work with their schedules,” says Paul Ryder, Amazon’s vice president of media and student programs.  “We look forward to bringing this experience to more universities soon.”

When Amazon and Purdue launched the online partnership in August, Purdue.Amazon.com, university officials said students would be able to save up to 30% each year on textbook purchases. And all Purdue students can get free next-day shipping on course materials ordered through Amazon as of this spring. Amazon did not specify why it chose Purdue.

Amazon is expected to open a second location before the end of this school year on Purdue’s campus. It is expected to open its first physical store location at UMass-Amherst in June.

Amazon also has a program called Amazon Student that gives students free, two-day shipping for six months. After that, the membership upgrades to Amazon Prime, which offers free two-day shipping plus perks such as streaming video of movies and TV shows, for half the usual price of $99 per year.

 

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