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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