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Robert A. Walton is CEO of the National Association of College Stores

In the pursuit of streamlined processes and reduced risk, a significant question is often overlooked: Do you want a store that reflects the personality and values of your campus or do you want a cookie-cutter corporate showroom, focused on selling products and making a profit?

Through Virtual Bookstores, an Illinois university  offers more affordable textbooks and sees increased merchandise sales

The campus bookstore traditionally was the one place students could purchase the right edition of texts for their courses—albeit at full cost. With the rise of online retailers came competition for the bookstore, as student access to more affordable textbook options grew exponentially.

New campus store by Nebraska Book Company  focuses on interactivity and convenience

Part of the University of San Diego’s forward-thinking mission is to ensure that all campus facilities are capable of serving not only today’s students, but tomorrow’s students as well. Over the past two and a half years, USD leaders have applied this philosophy to redesigning the campus bookstore.

“Course materials come from a wide range of locations now,” says Andre Mallie, executive director of auxiliary services for USD. “We need to react to those changes.”

Bill Dampier, President & Chief Operating Officer at MBS Direct

How is content changing in terms of diversity and affordability on campuses?
“Content” used to be more narrow in scope, and referred pretty much exclusively to print textbooks. Today content can mean a wide variety of products, from traditional texts to interactive software. Content can come in a print or digital form, and be sold new or used. There are also new, open-source models that can provide access to everyone in a class at a low cost or for free. The products themselves are changing, in addition to the types of content.

Greencastle, Indiana is home to a unique blend of industrial and commercial businesses as well as a top ranking private liberal arts college – DePauw University.

Brian E. Cartier is CEO of the National Association of College Stores, based in Oberlin, Ohio.

With student debt in the trillions and other economic concerns looming over families, college stores often bear the brunt of public anger over course material costs. But stores are working harder than ever to provide students with affordable options that will help them learn, succeed and get that coveted degree.

Barnes & Noble College and Why Millennials Matter recently partnered for a study that explored topics such as internships, career choice and influencers, the job search process, career expectations, and perceptions about what skills and experiences are desired by companies today. This web seminar, originally broadcast on July 17, 2015, shared insights on opportunities to help institutions achieve their goals in recruitment, retention and career placement, as well as presented strategies to bridge the gap between what students have and what employers want.

Clay Wahl

Follett Higher Education Group continues to meet the needs of campus communities by staying on the pulse of what professors adopt and how college students acquire course materials, as well as on the latest classroom technologies and other retail environments. We translate these insights into custom operating plans that transform the campus retail experience. Leveraging Follett’s market leadership presence and expertise in education and retail, we are uniquely capable of delivering the right solutions and products to drive not only access and affordability but also student success.

Faculty and students at Bridgewater College in Virginia complained increasingly in recent years about the unavailability of textbooks at the campus bookstore. To control inventory, the store stocked only a percentage of materials required if everyone purchased what was expected.

Campus business officers also noted a rapid decline in textbook revenue and related commissions, as students pursued lower-cost alternatives to purchasing books from the store.

Bill Dampier

Most bookstores that are on campus are threatened by external competition. Students are already shopping around for the best value when acquiring their course materials.