With decades of experience in higher education, Barnes & Noble College has acquired expertise in designing solutions that maximize success for different institutions. A four-year private liberal arts school, where most students live on campus, has needs that are distinct from those of a community college with a larger nontraditional and commuter student population. Different solutions are required for different schools to reach the goal of ensuring students succeed.
Here are the customized campus store solutions we offer.
Our college bookstores have a nationwide reputation for popularity among students. Physical stores and their accompanying websites offer textbooks, college apparel, cafes, an ample selection of trade books, school supplies and convenience foods. They’re also designed to provide students, faculty and alumni with an experience that enhances their sense of community, school spirit and love for the pursuit of knowledge. Many campuses benefit from a vibrant brick-and-mortar retail environment that provides a central hub for all members of the academic community to come together. A full physical store can be a dynamic addition to a school’s roster of student services with full-time experts on hand to guide them through the process of choosing and attaining the course materials they need for success — at affordable prices.
Students expect the same convenience at school that is available to them online or off-campus. If anything, the campus store should be more convenient, the place they think of first when considering how to find what they need for school without breaking their budget. Selling course materials in a campus brick-and-mortar store has advantages, but textbook inventory takes up space — and can increase overhead. Some schools may benefit from dedicating space once used for textbooks to other purposes. In this situation, a “hybrid” solution may work well. Institutions can have a brick-and-mortar store that sells general merchandise like logoed apparel, food, trade books and school supplies while providing course materials online.
The virtual bookstore integrates with the school’s learning management system (LMS), making it easy for students to find the correct books when they need them. Many hybrid solutions provide students with the option to order books online and pick them up in the brick-and-mortar store. This gives students an introduction to the store’s quick, convenient service and provides an opportunity for them to browse the general merchandise offerings.
For schools with large commuter populations, an abundance of nontraditional students or both, a virtual-only bookstore can be an especially good fit. This allows students to access the course materials they need from home, from work or while on campus. They don’t have to worry about making a special trip to buy books or finding a space to park. They can acquire what they need for academic success without having to find babysitters or wait in line at the end of a long day. A virtual-only solution allows schools to reclaim valuable real estate and allows schools to generate reliable revenue from course materials while also reducing the cost to students. On the right campus, a virtual store demonstrates understanding of the needs of students and, as a result, helps them forge a stronger connection to the school and their academic future.
A strong school athletics program creates demand for places on campus where students, alumni, fans and donors can find their favorite school-branded gear. Our expertise extends beyond traditional campus stores to include the operation of best-in-class athletic and school spirit-only store locations and dedicated athletics websites. Students and graduates flock to our customized athletic retail sites on campuses where big games and team spirit are an important tradition. Barnes & Noble College can suggest a solution that fits your school’s needs: a full-size athletic-only store, a pop-up site in a convenient spot on campus, a stadium store or an athletics-only website. Some schools have a need for a combination of these solutions. Our athletics retail solution allows schools to offer high-quality, licensed branded apparel — t-shirts, shorts, hats, athletic shoes and more — that make campus the preferred place to shop for gear, while driving revenue for the school.
Barnes & Noble College has created customized campus store solutions to support our primary mission: Serving all who seek to better their lives through education. We know students provided with a sense of community are more likely to stay in school and succeed, and we craft our solutions with that outcome in mind. The right retail environment demonstrates to students that the college cares about their needs, their experiences and their education. That’s why we don’t create one-size-fits-all bookstores. Instead, we draw on our decades of experience in education to create signature retail environments that work best for your campus and your students.