Amazon is moving from online only into the world of physical retail, with 'shops'. It's just opened its first staffed pick-up and drop-off location, that could loosely be called a shop, at Perdue University in the US.
Amazon@Perdue, as it's called, will allow students at the university to pick up packages as well as return items via the shop. Amazon Prime and Amazon Student members will get free next-day delivery on textbooks shipped to the West Lafayette campus.
This is likely part of a larger play by Amazon to move into the physical space of shops. Apple and Samsung have already opened shops all over the world in order to get their products out to customers in more ways than simply shipping. In the two years since Amazon Prime launched the company's shipping costs have increased by more than 25 per cent.
According to analysts Amazon won't survive unless it moves into physical retail, having spent around $6.6 billion on transportation costs since 2005. It's also been suggested that Uber could be a threat to Amazon, if it simply added delivery as part of its services which are already all over the roads internationally.
Amazon plans to spread its university shops across America with the University of California, Davis and the University Massachusetts Amherst also involved.
The next step? Amazon will likely buy a brick and mortar chain and start setting up pick-up and drop-off points everywhere. So next time you visit the petrol station you may be able to pick up or drop off packages too.