May 16, 2022

WSJ Reports on Amazon’s Move Into the College Bookstore Biz


The pacts with Purdue University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of California Davis represent Amazon’s opening salvo in a bid to capture some of the $10.3 billion spent annually in college bookstores, according to the National Association of College Stores. Today, that market is dominated by Barnes & Noble Inc. and closely held companies including Follett Corp.

As part of its campus initiative, Amazon is offering unlimited next-day delivery on campus to Amazon Student Prime members, faster than the two-day guarantee for Amazon’s regular Prime customers. It plans distribution centers on each campus where students can collect packages from code-activated lockers or from Amazon employees.


For the privilege of tapping into the schools’ course-selection software, Amazon will pay the schools 0.5% to 2.5% for purchases made through its college website, according to contracts obtained by The Wall Street Journal under open-records laws. Amazon will pay at least $1.45 million to UMass over three years and $1.7 million to Purdue over four years, according to the contracts.

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See Also: & UC Davis Formally Announce Online Storefront Pilot (January 7, 2014)

See Also: University of Washington: Amazon sets up booth in front of college bookstore to tout Amazon Student program

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.