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Benefits of an Independent Campus Store

An independently run bookstore is committed to the success of students and campus, rather than a corporate bottom line. The store supports academic achievement, facilitates positive student engagement with its school, serves the unique needs of its campus, and champions the school’s brand with students, alumni, and the world at large—and still returns a healthy financial contribution back to the institution.

The independent campus store enriches its college or university by:

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From Lease to Independent

Campus Stores Leave the Lease

A number of institutions are choosing to take control of their campus stores again, transitioning from lease back to self-operation to respond to student and faculty needs and strengthen their school’s brand identity.

As administrators seek solutions to encourage retention and improve student success, many are recognizing the influential role played by the campus store in helping to achieve those goals.

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Tap into the Power of Collaboration to Keep Your Campus Store Affordable

Collaboration is a hallmark of higher education. Teaching and learning are collaborative by nature. Most colleges and universities collaborate with other institutions via cooperatives, consortia, coalitions, networks, and other partnerships.

The multiplier effect of institutional collaboration empowers campuses to achieve far more collectively than they could on their own. The most effective and productive collaborations leverage their combined strength to accomplish mutual objectives while retaining the flexibility to accommodate the individual needs of their participants.

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Seven Budget-Friendly Ways to Improve Your Campus Store

Regardless of how efficiently and effectively your campus store operates, there is always room for improvement. Here are seven recommendations your store can pursue at little or no cost.

Establish student and faculty advisory committees

Getting feedback directly from your primary constituents is the fastest route to improvement. Advisory groups can tell you how well the store is serving their needs, and also be a sounding board for new ideas. Convene the committees four to six times per year (monthly at most), provide lunch, and limit the agenda to just a few specific questions.

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Auxiliary Directors Value the Service, Support Provided by their Campus Store

What do auxiliary directors consider to be the primary purpose of their campus store? It’s not to generate revenue for the institution; a significant 85% believe the primary purpose of their university store is to be a “service provider” for both students and faculty.

According to a recent OnCampus Research survey of auxiliary professionals responsible for the campus store, generating revenue came in second in terms of the store’s primary purpose with 68% of administrators indicating that as a priority, followed closely by providing affordable course materials and contributing to student success.

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Top 10 Ways Independent College Bookstores Support Faculty and Students

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.


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The Three Things Every Store Director Should Be Doing Right Now

Independent college stores continue to face dramatic transitions in course materials format and delivery and increased pressure from lease contractors and online marketplaces. Store directors need to be vigilant in maintaining a leadership position in key aspects of their retail operation. At minimum, every store director should focus on achieving three goals this year to help improve effectiveness and meet student and faculty needs.
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