Amazon pickup location to open in SCE

Amazon @ UICStarting this month, anyone who orders from Amazon can mail their package to campus, pick it up and go.

“We’re here to make students’ lives easier,” said Ashley Newman, a campus business manager for Amazon. She will oversee Amazon@UIC, a new pickup location inside of Student Center East, from her corporate office in Seattle.

The approximately 2,300-square-foot space, which will house a customer service desk, kiosks and locker banks, will offer a personalized shopping experience online and in the store, Newman said.

Beginning Nov. 8, customers can mail packages to campus and pick them up at their convenience. To activate the UIC pickup location as a mailing option for an Amazon account, register online.

When items are ready for pickup, users can simply retrieve the barcode for their order from a mobile device and scan it at a kiosk. A locker, which keeps shipments secure before pickup, will then open automatically so students and employees can retrieve their packages.

Most student pickups are done in two minutes or less, Newman said.

Customers are also offered free returns on site. Complications with orders or questions can be addressed at the customer service desk staffed by Amazon employees.

The brick-and-mortar location will enhance the UIC student experience, said Eric Simon, executive director for Campus Auxiliary Services.

“Student unions represent a place where you can study, where you can eat and where you can get all of the convenience items that you need,” he said. “Amazon adds a piece that we don’t quite have.”

Since 2015, campuses around the nation have opened Amazon pickup locations. The space at UIC is part of the first wave of locations at campuses in Illinois, following the Amazon@Illinois space that opened Oct. 19 in Urbana-Champaign.

Although customers don’t need to be Prime members to mail items to the location, Prime members receive certain benefits, such as free and faster delivery speed on select orders. Members who ship packages to Amazon@UIC get free same-day pickup if the order is placed by noon. Orders placed by 10 p.m. are eligible for free one-day pickup. Students can sign up to get a six-month free trial; Prime student membership is $49 a year. Employees can receive a one-month free trial, with Prime membership priced at $99 a year.

A grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the location will take place Nov. 17. Demonstration days, where employees will show videos and explain how the pickup process works, will also be held near the launch date.

“We’re really excited to be making history with all of you, and this really is a momentous occasion for Amazon,” Newman said.

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