Amazon Has Already Opened Its First Offline Store, Sort Of

Image courtesy of Amazon

amazon_purduestoreYesterday’s exciting retail news was that Amazon may take part in the bidding for some of the stores that formed the desiccated husk of RadioShack, vastly expanding its offline retail network of…zero permanent stores. Yet that’s not true: the fuss over the possible stores overshadowed the actual store that Amazon opened earlier this year, which is on the campus of Purdue University in Indiana.

Yes, Amazon is posing an even more direct challenge to college bookstores than its mere existence already does. The venture is called Amazon@Purdue, and the store is a sleek drop-off and pick-up center for Amazon merchandise that’s conveniently located on campus. Students and university employees can get free one-day pickup on items shipped to the center, where they can fetch their items from the staff or from an Amazon Locker.

People who are eligible have to sign up through the Amazon Purdue site, or Amazon Student, and only items that are marked as eligible for one-day shipping can be zoomed to the on-campus center.

It’s not just the campus bookstore that the on-campus Amazon center competes with, too. One store employee explains that she uses it to substitute for off-campus shopping trips. “I’ve been getting cleaning stuff. Instead of driving all the way to Walmart, I just get it here when I’m at work and pick it up when I leave,” one woman who works at the Amazon store told the Indianapolis Star.

First-ever staffed Amazon store opens at Purdue University [Indianapolis Star]

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