Independent university bookstores are an extension of their institutions. They are versatile, flexible, and create an environment of success for the entire campus population. The campus store plays a key part in the first impression prospective students and their parents have of the school. It is a hub for students throughout their college tenure, and maintains a campus connection with them after graduation.
Coursework adoptions are flexible and timely:
This important benefit of the independent college bookstore model cannot be overstated. Independent stores work directly with faculty to ensure timely adoptions, special orders of custom materials, and accommodate print-on-demand additions.
Merchandise meets student needs and represents your campus:
Independent stores offer unique product selections, including variations in merchandise assortment and brands, as well as technology products to support students’ success. This creates a distinct store for your campus–not based on corporate policies or vendor agreements–that represents the school and its unique culture.
Customer service is excellent:
Institutionally run stores can assure the highest levels of customer service; campus bookstore staff report to the administration of the university, which means service standards can be closely monitored.
Local businesses are supported:
Independent stores take advantage of products available from local vendors, and many offer cross-merchandising and couponing with other local retailers, which is important to the community and to the student population. There are also opportunities to offer regional specialties and local delicacies.
Prices and availability are closely monitored:
Independent stores work directly with faculty to ensure the correct course materials are available by the start of classes. Independent stores also manage pricing closely and have flexibility to provide students with affordable learning solutions for purchase or rental in a variety of formats. In addition, many independent stores are willing to support students and faculty needs with special-order materials. All of these services contribute to students’ academic success.
Online shopping is an extension of the store:
Independent stores’ e-commerce sites are a reflection of the store and school. They offer course materials and merchandise that meet their students’ needs, and can be unique, fun, and interactive.
The school brand is reflected:
A strong, visible school brand and identify helps drive student and parent loyalty. Appropriate, branded merchandise allows students, faculty, and alumni to display their school spirit and and act as brand ambassadors.
Activities and events encourage student engagement:
The store can be hub of activity and a student gathering place. Contests, promotions, and celebrations bring students in and add to their college experience.
The school’s changing needs are met as they happen:
Independent stores often stay open late or on weekends to support school events. They stock extra merchandise during important championships, change brands and products to accommodate student desires, and set up booths at special events to share valuable campus information.
Profits stay on campus:
Profits from independent stores stay on campus to support school programs or expenses. Prices are also managed closely in independent stores for all products–course materials, merchandise, and technology–to meet the needs of students and faculty.