Amazon launches first physical store

Amazon has launched its first stand-alone physical store, but it is not in Manhattan as many predicted, it is on the Purdue University campus in Indiana, US. 

The staffed retail space has been designed for customers to pick up and  drop off packages with the target market being students who Amazon believes will be ordering “textbooks and other college essentials”.

Amazon had initially been thought to be planning a physical store in New York, but this space is now understood to be being used as offices.

Amazon@Purdue has a minimal look, taking on the orange, white and black brand colours of Amazon as part of a functional concept offering customers a choice of a face-to-face desk service or collection from lockers.

The etailer is hoping the move will drive more take-up of its Amazon Student and Amazon prime memberships, with members being given incentives such as free one-day shipping.

Branded Amazon@Purdue, the store name will also be used as an online tag entered as the shipping address at checkout.

A tailored shopping area of the Amazon site has been created at purdue.amazon.com and students, alumni, faculty and staff will also find the Purdue logo embedded elsewhere across the Amazon site, to highlight goods which might be of use.

Customers receive an email or text notification stating the product has arrived at the store and when they’re ready to pick it up they click through to generate a barcode.

At the store customers can either scan the barcode themselves and pick up the item from a self-service locker or head to a pick-up desk where they’ll be served by a human.

A second campus location will open up in the spring and Amazon has hinted that stores will follow at the University of California, Davis, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Amazon

Although this is the first stand-alone store Amazon has made forays into bricks and mortar, before with some of its Amazon Lockers appearing around the UK within stores, supermarkets and soon above ground at Tube stations in London.

Amazon was unable to confirm who has designed the university concept at the time of publication.

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