Purchasing from college store has buying local benefit

Lauren Williams's picture
Monday, August 19, 2013

Since the start of a new semester can be overwhelming to many college students, the one-stop-shopping at the campus bookstore can be comforting. But, did you also know that shopping at the bookstore has the added benefit of supporting the local economy.

According to the National Association of College Stores (NACS), college stores in the U.S. directly employ 150,000 persons, of which approximately 30,000 are students. In addition, more than 1,300 small to large businesses supply goods and services to the collegiate retail market.

College stores make an average of only four cents on every dollar spent on a new textbook, with the majority of that going back to the educational institution. A 2013 survey of NACS members found that college stores contribute an average of $280,876 annually to their college campuses.

“When a student makes a purchase from the campus store, they can be confident that a portion of that price will be returned to the campus through scholarships, paying the salaries of student workers, and supporting student activities,” says NACS director of public relations Charles Schmidt.

“For example, Dixie State College Bookstore sells the Starving Student Card, which provides students with a variety of special offers and services from dozens of area businesses,” said Schmidt. “The DSC Bookstore then uses the proceeds from sales of the Starving Student Card to fund a student scholarship.”

A survey conducted by consultancy Civic Economics found that for every $100 spent at locally owned business, $68 remained in the local economy, creating jobs and expanding the region’s tax base. This compares with only $43 of every $100 spent at chain stores remaining in the community. Similar examples can be found throughout the country.

About NACS

Headquartered in Oberlin, Ohio, the National Association of College Stores (NACS) is the professional trade association representing the collegiate retailing industry. NACS represents more than 3,000 collegiate retailers that serve America’s college students while supporting the academic missions of higher education institutions. Additional information on NACS can be found online at www.nacs.org.