Students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus will no longer be buying their textbooks at the campus bookstore. That familiar on-campus amenity is being replaced by online retail giant Amazon.com. The current textbook annex operated by Follett Corp. is being replaced by an Amazon distribution center that is designed to save the students money.
UMass Amherst’s five-year deal with the retailing giant will provide the school with a 2.5% commission on almost all student sales conducted through the Amazon storefront linked to the University’s course-selection software. The University is guaranteed payments of at least $375,000 the first year, increasing to $465,000 and $610,000 for the next two years. Amazon already has similar textbook service agreements with the University of California Davis as well as Purdue University.
An Amazon spokesman says that this effort to reinvent the traditional campus bookstore is a win-win for everyone, with students lowering their cost of obtaining textbooks and other course materials, while the school realizes a guaranteed revenue from student sales.