AMAZON U: Amazon wants more of the college vote. The e-commerce giant said Thursday that it will open a staffed pickup and drop-off facility at the University of Pennsylvania, its first Ivy League campus, this spring. Amazon also said it had agreements to open locations at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California, Davis, campuses this year.
The e-commerce giant in February opened its first staffed pickup location at Purdue University’s West Lafayette, Ind., campus, called Amazon@Purdue. A second Amazon@Purdue unit will open in the summer. The company also facilities at the University of Massachusetts and the University of Cincinnati.
Penn said its mail rooms were inundated with Amazon packages, with almost half of all parcels coming from the online behemoth. The 3,558-square-foot Amazon@Penn facility will be at 1920 Commons, Penn’s biggest dining hall. It will be the first Amazon pickup location with communal work spaces with interactive media pods.
In a bid to sign up students to its Prime membership service, which features free two-day delivery service and a host of other perks, the company is offering the Amazon Student version of the service for a free six-month trial. After that, the fee is $49 a year, half the price of a regular Prime membership.
To further the company’s collegiate effort, Amazon has cut deals with universities, which see the online retailer eating into campus book store sales. Amazon said it will return to Purdue University a percentage of eligible sales from customers who have ordered through purdue.amazon.com, including sales to faculty, staff and alumni. Purdue will use the proceeds for its student affordability and accessibility initiatives.