College Park Pioneers Amazon’s Latest Idea

amazon@collegepark Amazon Prime student College ParkCollege Park is one of 19 places around the country testing Amazon’s latest retail concept.

Located in Terrapin Row off Guilford Drive, Amazon @ College Park doesn’t sell anything. Instead, you shop online and pick up your packages in the store. If you order by noon, you’ll get it that same day.

The 3,000-square-foot space, which opened in February, includes a small lounge and lockers so that you don’t have to wait in line to get your package. You can also try out a Kindle while you’re on site.

For students, the benefits are obvious. Receiving packages is a hassle in most dorms and off-campus housing, while shopping at brick-and-mortar stores can be hard without a car. Sign up for Amazon Prime Student, which is free for six months and just $49 a year after that, and you get free shipping too.

Amazon benefits too. College students are setting shopping habits they’ll carry with them after they leave school. The pickup locations are also easier to manage than dealing with on-campus mailrooms and dorms. (And those Prime members are also in the binge-watching demographic that may check out Amazon videos too.)

The University of Maryland also seems to be a good spot for national retailers testing out college-focused shopping concepts. Target brought one of its first TargetExpress stores just up the road, and it appears to be doing well.

That may be in part because the campus is undergoing a building boom which means there’s a lot of prime retail space available. Plus the fact that the housing is newer means the university isn’t as set in its ways as some more established college towns might be.

You don’t have to be a student or a Prime member to use the store, which is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and noon to 9 p.m. on the weekend.

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