Last Wednesday, UC Santa Barbara's beachside college town, Isla Vista, saw the opening of Amazon@IslaVista, an Amazon.com storefront that provides secure lockers for online orders. Amazon, the country's number one Internet retailer, is especially popular amongst college students, who order everything from snacks to clothes to college textbooks through the site. The new storefront is expected to increase security and reduce theft, a common occurrence in the small town where packages may be left unattended for hours at a time. Similar to long-term post office boxes, the Amazon storefront allows shoppers to select an Amazon locker for delivery rather than opting to receive a package delivery at home. Upon delivery, customers will receive a notification along with a personalized code for the locker. They then have up to five days to pick up the package before it is returned to the Amazon warehouse.
For students living on the UCSB campus or in Isla Vista, the new storefront will create a smoother and more secure shopping experience. This is especially true for students still living in on-campus dorms, whose packages are often left in common areas until the student returns to their room. For students with Amazon Student or Amazon Prime accounts, Amazon@IslaVista is also the first location to offer same-day delivery for eligible items - a game-changer for college kids who may have forgotten to order a textbook on time.
UCSB is one of several college campuses around the nation to provide a nearby Amazon storefront. While there are certain limitations to the store, such as restrictions on package size and weight, the store is expected to provide enhanced security and an easier shopping experience for the Isla Vista community.