Amazon has spent the last year expanding its challenge to the existence of college bookstores, opening pickup locations on campuses scattered across the country. There, students can pick up things that they ordered on Amazon, and… that’s about it. A new pickup point at the University of Pennsylvania will also offer study and collaboration space for student use, and will provide same-day or next-day pickup for members of Amazon Student or Amazon Prime.
The first Amazon store was at Purdue University, and since then they’ve expanded to UMass Amherst, UC Santa Barbara (Isla Vista), and the University of Cincinnati. Amazon also has a real-life bookstore in Seattle, and has more campus-based pickup locations planned at UC Davis and UC Berkeley.
Placing an Amazon pickup point with study space right on campus is a handy advertisement for Amazon, but also has an added bonus for the university: letting students and faculty pick up their own darn packages alleviates pressure on campus mail rooms. E-commerce is creating logistical nightmares for campus mail services and apartment complexes. People who live nearby but who aren’t affiliated with the university will also be able to register the pickup center as a delivery address and pick up their packages there.
“The preference by today’s students for on-line shopping has led to a significant increase in deliveries. When we looked closely at the shipping activity, we discovered that almost half of all packages delivered to Penn student mail rooms were from Amazon,” Marie Witt, the Vice President of Business Services at Penn, explained in a statement.
The facility will open later in the Spring 2016 semester.