Bookstore Revamp Draws Shoppers

Annette Ritzko, Web Editor

Students are noticing big changes at the bookstore.

The store, which closed during the summer for renovations, reopened August 19 with a dramatically different layout.

“We kept the framework of the store itself intact, but we did change the location of the of the cash wrap and we also opened a door to the outside, which has proven to be very beneficial for increased traffic into the store, and for making it easier to see that we’re open,” said Rodney Watson, the store’s new manager.

Senior PT major, Michael Trygar and sophomore SLP major, Leah Persing said they appreciate the new interior and convenient outside door.

“I think all the school store renovations were great. I think they made it more friendly for people who may not go to this school, with the addition of the door coming from outside of banks instead of just inside. I also think it looks trendier. It’s a step in the right direction,” said Trygar.

Persing said the updates served as an enticement to shop.

“The clothes are easier to access since the aisles are wider, and I also think the textbooks are easier to find with how they are organized. Unlike last year, I did buy a book from the store this year,” said Persing.

The university’s partnership with Follett, a provider of education technology, services and print and digital content, brought in new management such as Watson, but kept long-time managers Donna Samanas and Susan Sheridan on board. Samanas is a 14 year veteran of the bookstore, while Sheridan has served seven years. Both now work for Follett.

Along with Follett came new items and name brands, which sophomore student worker Cassy Silveri pointed out.

“One thing that definitely helps is the new door that opens to the football and baseball fields, so after games they can get in here easier. It’s a lot cleaner and nicer looking in here as well, and partnering with Follett has brought in nicer name brands such as Champion and Under Armour. I think they even plan on bringing Nike in here eventually,” Silveri said.

Students are also discovering new policies and options for buying books.

“Based on the traffic that I’ve seen in the store, I think we were able to reach about 90 percent of the freshmen for their books this year instead of them going to Amazon or Chegg. Any student can access the school store through the student portal which has a link that takes you to the school store’s website, and shows you the price of the book new, rented or used,” Watson said.

He added that renting is a popular option. “I think our biggest platform right now is being able to rent books which is open to every student. I know at least 75 percent of the freshmen took advantage of that,” said Watson.

Student also have the option to use a “price match” policy to get an even better deal. Prices for books are matched against leading competitors such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Chegg. Students must provide proof of competitively-priced textbooks during time of purchase or within seven days of the original transaction with the original receipt. At the end of the summer, the Campus store will buy back books.

Watson said more changes are in store as Follett introduces “BryteWave,” a digital reader that allows students to take notes, share ideas and access their digital textbooks online or on mobile devices.

Watson said the store’s new website makes shopping more convenient.

“We also now have a fully loaded website that students can not only purchase books, but also apparel, and we have emails going out to students informing them of any current or upcoming sales and new products. I was surprised at how popular our website was with so many students picking up books they had previously ordered online,” Watson said.

Watson said the changes have lifted employee morale, too.  For more information visit