Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Amazon offers Canadian college students 6 months of free 2-day shipping

A zoomed illustration image of a man looking at a computer monitor showing the logo of Amazon is seen in this file photo.

© Leonhard Foeger / Reuters is trying to woo tech-savvy young shoppers to its e-commerce site by launching on Tuesday a promotion for college students before the school year begins.

U.S. parent Inc. is introducing a program in Canada allowing university and college students to get six months of free two-day shipping of items eligible under its Amazon Prime membership. The items range from electronics to household essentials and school supplies.

Under the program, after six months students pay half price – $39 a year – for regular Amazon Prime membership, which provides free two-day shipping.

Story continues below advertisement

College students tend to be among the earliest e-commerce adopters who spend a lot of time online, Alexandre Gagnon, country manager for, said in a telephone interview. "There is a natural fit with e-commerce in that segment," he said. "We hope that they will continue shopping on Amazon."

In the run-up to the start of the college year, retailers rush to draw students as they shop for an array of products – from textbooks to home-decor items for their university residences. Now Amazon, which rolled out the student promotion in the United States four years ago, is intent on grabbing more of that business by recruiting more Amazon Prime members among students here. The online retailer has also introduced Amazon Student in Britain and Germany.

In Canada, Amazon has increasingly added more products to its Canadian website, racing to catch up with the scope of offerings on its U.S. site. In the past 14 months or so, it has added 16 new kinds of products to its website here, Mr. Gagnon said. The new Amazon Student program provides deals on merchandise such as home goods, beauty items and groceries.

Amazon's expansion squeezes rivals at a time when many retailers are lagging when it comes to e-commerce. Loblaw Cos. Ltd. is expected to start testing online selling this fall, while discount titan Wal-Mart Canada Corp. is rapidly pumping up its cyberbusiness. U.S. discounter Target Corp., which arrived in Canada last year, has yet to offer online shopping in this country.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct Licensing Options
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles as we switch to a new provider. We are behind schedule, but we are still working hard to bring you a new commenting system as soon as possible. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to