While it may sound counter-intuitive, the online retail giant is beginning to open physical locations.
The new endeavor is being called Amazon@Purdue and is located at the college’s campus in West Lafayette, Indiana. Specifically, Amazon@Purdue is located inside the Krach Leadership Center and allows Purdue students to collect orders as well as make returns. The “customer order pickup and drop-off location” is staffed by Amazon employees that are there to help with returns and answer questions. For pickups, students and faculty simply need to locate the locker in which their orders are stored and open them by typing in a code.
“We’re excited to open our first-ever staffed pickup location at Purdue, making it more convenient and affordable for students to get everything they need for life on campus,” Paul Ryder, VP of Media and Student Programs at Amazon, said. “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.”
Amazon is not limiting itself to Purdue University and has signed similar deals with the University of California, Davis and the the University of Massachusetts Amherst with more deals expected to be announced as Amazon rolls-out Amazon Student. Amazon Student is designed to offer similar benefits as Amazon Prime for half the cost ($49). Both Amazon Student and Amazon Prime members will receive free one-day shipping on textbooks and over a million other items if they are willing to go to the center to retrieve them. Starting in the spring, all Purdue students will be eligible for free one-day shipping on textbooks without either of the aforementioned memberships.
Second location and beyond
Also in the spring, Amazon will open a second Purdue location in the Purdue Memorial Union building.
Purdue students aren’t the only ones who may see the opening of a number of pick-up/drop-off locations in the near future. Amazon has plans for a large brick-and-mortar location in the shadow of the Empire State Building to service Manhattan residents.
Additionally, on Monday Bloomberg reported that Amazon was in talks with the soon to be bankrupt Radio Shack to acquire some of their retail locations.