Barnes & Noble College has been named Outstanding Business Partner of the Year by the National Association of College Auxiliary Services (NACAS). Founded as a one-stop resource for networking and information, NACAS members are comprised of auxiliary service professionals serving higher education at over 825 colleges and universities. Awarded at the NACAS Annual Conference recently held in Atlanta, Georgia, it marks the second time Barnes and Noble College has received the award, becoming the first partner ever to do so.
The NACAS recognition underscores the importance Barnes & Noble College places in the strength of relationship building as a key business strategy. Patrick Maloney, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer for Barnes & Noble College, acknowledged the point in a recent interview with College Services magazine, the NACAS member publication. “NACAS has been a valued partner for Barnes & Noble College since the very beginning,” he said. “Our business partnership with NACAS is really all about being able to deliver the best possible experience for our clients,” he added, “and for us, this award validates the importance of being a good partner – and that’s really our philosophy.”
The power of effective partnership strategies has become particularly valuable in the current financial climate as many colleges and universities have looked for help to develop new revenue opportunities, cost efficiencies and deliver greater value. In the College Services article, Maloney points to the importance of a best-practices philosophy at the campus bookstores to ensure maximum store performance and customer satisfaction. “We do that by having our finger on the pulse of the latest textbook and merchandise trends, investing in cost-saving productivity tools, and leveraging the most advanced retail technologies to enable our campus partners to deliver an unmatched experience at their schools,” he said.
In addition, recent Barnes & Noble College innovations have reflected campus trends and student needs such as RechargeU, which delivers fresh, on-the-go foods and beverages, and the Tech Store, which provides advanced computer products and accessories for students at larger bookstores. Technology is another important factor in the campus partnership, as Maloney points out. “We’re investing in the latest advancements in eCommerce to translate our exceptional in-store experiences to our campus partner’s online platforms,” he stated. “These new sites will be compelling shopping experiences that uniquely celebrate each school’s campus spirit and lifestyle.”
The NACAS membership is made up of concession, bookstore, laundry, parking and retail providers covering everything from transportation, food services and technology. According to the most recent statistics available from the U.S. Department of Education, it’s a market worth $34 billion in college auxiliary services within the United States.
“We’re truly honored to be accepting this award for the second time, but it wouldn’t have been possible without our amazing clients,” Maloney said. “Our business partnership with NACAS is really all about being able to deliver the best possible experience for our clients, and we’re delighted to have the opportunity to do that.”
Click here to read the the article, NACAS Honors Barnes & Noble College, in the Winter 2012 issue of College Services magazine.