We at Barnes & Noble are energized by what’s next – for our industry and for UALR. No one understands campus bookstores better, and in a time of significant change in the higher education industry, we have the vision and the resources to enhance UALR’s continued success.
Vision, Mission & Executive Summary:
Throughout this past year, we innovated with purpose, growing and empowering our local store team to transcend our traditional role on campus to be a more strategic partner. Our bookstore is more than a retail space; it is an academic and social hub that enriches student success. Our partnership with UALR this year cements us as more than just a bookstore operator; we are a strategic partner that collaborates with you to strengthen the mission of business goals of UALR.
Outreach & Collaboration:
- Research & Insights
We use our exclusive Barnes & Noble College Research Platforms to uncover strategic intersections between the interest, challenges and needs of the UALR community. We created #Career Now to address the needs of recruitment and retention for UALR, and for students; need for help securing internships. We share UALR’s dedication to student success. Speed mentoring events, personal branding and other career guidance tools are coming to UALR this fall 2015.
- Strong Relationships
We listened to UALR faculty and students, who told us they expect a complete support system for their social and academic needs. For faculty who want to spend their time helping students rather than completing administrative tasks, we continue to enhance FacultyEnlight, adding the ability to search and adopt OER materials this Fall. For students, we create social hub events like New Student VIP Nights and DeStress Fests to offer new experiences and demonstrate our understanding of their life outside the classroom.
- Driving Student Success
We make students a priority and they notice, making our campus bookstore their first choice for course materials. We’ve continued our dramatic increase in textbook rentals and sales, further grabbing market share from online competitors. Our educational digital communications program ensures that students understand their affordable options, including savings of up to 80 percent thanks to our dynamic marketplace pricing strategies. The support we offer keeps them coming back again and again, in-store and online.
- Seamless Experiences
Based on our research, we’re going digital this fall with the New Student Welcome Kit, which will be distributed through our new mobile app, ensuring our incoming students know how, when and where to secure their course materials. We’re also responding to feedback from alumni and fans by launching our True Fan merchandise-only websites that celebrate and reward their connection to our school.
- Innovative Technologies
Like our stores, our technology is custom-built to fuel an unmatched social and academic experience unique to UALR. From our easily integrated course material management systems to our digital education platform, Yuzu, to our vibrant digital communities of students and faculty, we’ve created an ecosystem of technologies that are fully tailored to UALR’s systems and academic mission.
We have saved students $873,523 by renting their textbooks. All of the athletes rent their text books, and it is a great savings for their department. New rental textbooks increased 14% and used rental increased 3% over last year.
We have 80% of our titles that are rentable.
Online sales are up 18%, and we established a flat shipping rate of $7.50.
We continue to participate in the tax-free weekend to help save students money.
We have had 5 author signings that we have attended or they did their book signing in the Bookstore.
We partnered with the Law School for their orientation on a Sunday and we had the majority of the 1L Law school students purchase their books. (We had them boxed and ready to purchase.)
We give book scholarships each year to 26 students in the amount of $10,000, with a committee that helps with the process.
We donate over $5,000 a year to departments and organizations on campus.
We have a new welcome new parents form to use during orientation, and at the end of orientation they can register to win an UALR emblematic item.
We continue to bring in innovative merchandise that meets the need of the campus
We do a faculty and staff appreciation in the fall where they receive an extra 10% off all items excluding textbooks.
We have a mystery shopper that visits our store 4 times a year. The person is looking for a WOW customer experience. We have scored above 90% on all of our shops.