There have been rumors for years that Amazon will open its first proper physical store. They have flirted with brick-and-mortar many times and have had temporary pop up shops and even vending machines selling Kindle-products.
Manhattan was also set to get a Amazon store for Christmas 2014, but the location turned out to be just another small distribution center for fast online deliveries. Recently Amazon did open a real store in Seattle, it is only selling books though.
Amazon Loves Universities
There is however a place where Amazon is very present in a physical sense, American universities. What started at Purdue University (Amazon@Purdue) has expanded to many more places like Amazon@UMass, Amazon@IslaVista and Amazon@Cincinnati.
These are staffed package pickup points for students to pick up and return their Amazon orders. But they are quickly expanding in scope.
Amazon@Penn is opening in spring 2016 and is Amazon's first at an Ivy League institution, University of Pennsylvania, one of the oldest in the US.
- We're thrilled to bring a new experience to Penn that makes it more convenient for students to get everything they need for university life, said Ripley MacDonald, Director of Amazon Student Programs.
Students Love Amazon
Why do Amazon flirt with universities like this? Students are really good at online shopping. The University of Pennsylvania looked at their statistics and students apparently buy a lot from Amazon.
- The preference by today’s students for online 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, said Marie Witt, Vice President of Business Services at Penn.
"Our Fifth Campus Community"
Today Amazon also announced the opening of Amazon@ASUC, a staffed pickup location situated in the Martin Luther King Jr. building on the UC Berkeley campus. It will feature an interactive Amazon device experience where students can watch movies, play games, read books, listen to music, and more on Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, and Fire TV devices.
- This marks our fifth campus community to offer a staffed pickup location providing students with a convenient and affordable way to get everything they need for university life. We look forward to bringing this experience to even more students and campus communities soon, said Ripley MacDonald.