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Amazon opens first brick-and-mortar store

By Amy R. Connolly

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Online retail giant Amazon opened its first brick-and-mortar store at Purdue University on Wednesday, ushering in what could be a new way for college students to get quick and less-expensive access to textbook rentals and other products.

Amazon@Purdue, the company's first pickup and drop-off location, offers free one-day shipping for some products, including textbooks. Through the staffed location, students can search for books specific to Purdue classes, as well as other items. At checkout, they can select the store as the shipping destination. They will get an email or text when the item arrives at Amazon@Purdue. The item will be available at one of the store's lockers or through a store employee.

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"I don't have a large mailbox at my apartment," Jin Zhang, a junior in the Krannert School of Management, told The Exponent Online. "Now I don't have to worry about my packages getting stolen or sitting outside in bad weather when I'm not home."

Paul Ryder, Amazon's vice president of media and student programs, said the program is aimed at making some products easier to purchase and receive.

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"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," he said.

The store is located in the school's Krach Leadership Center, but Amazon is already planning for other locations on campus.

Earlier this week, Amazon said it plans to open similar stores at the University of Massachusetts and the University of California in Davis. Amazon is also operating Web sites that specifically cater to students at each of the three schools, with unlimited next-day delivery on campus to Amazon Student Prime members.

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