Bookstore cuts prices to make way for renovations

July 14, 2010

by Haley Kraemer

Tech’s institutional bookstore is transitioning into a Barnes & Noble store in order to meet the demands of the textbook industry.

Ann Delmuro, regional manager of Barnes & Noble, said they like their bookstores to be the living room of the campus. The whole idea is to create an environment where students like to come and hang out, grab something to drink, read some books and study.

“We are Barnes & Noble college,” she said. “We want to be the best Louisiana Tech Bookstore we can be.”

Delmuro said every college has its own personality and its own needs and this is what they are here to fulfill.

“After fall, the store will have significant changes in the way it looks,” she said. “There will be a rather large renovation and it will be a nice update.”

She said the Barnes & Noble bookstore will be official on Aug. 2 and the website will be up for students to go online and order their textbooks for fall quarter. Inventory will be done on Aug. 29 and re-merchandising will be conducted Aug. 30.

“We are truly in the middle of a transition,” Delmuro said. “We are working in tandem, so we can get ready for inventory.”

Gerald Reeves, director of the bookstore, said they are taking the merchandise assortment plan of the bookstore as it was institutionally and they are laying out a template of the Barnes & Noble merchandise currently in a huge sale at the bookstore.

“There will be some brands we carry which Barnes & Noble does not carry,” he said. “We will close out on those items and sell them off to make room for the new Barnes & Noble merchandise.”

Reeves said the sale has gone very well.

“Barnes & Noble are professional booksellers, and they have done this in 650 stores on various college campuses,” he said.

He said they will have a very large trade section with reference books and top sellers in a place where you can sit and read the same way you would in a Barnes & Noble store.

Reeves said one of the benefits of Tech bookstore’s partnership with Barnes & Noble is the increase of used books available due to Barnes & Noble’s relationship with Missouri Book, a major textbook seller.

James King, vice president of student affairs, said the textbook industry is changing at a rapid rate much like the music industry has changed in this digital age.

“As consumers, we are buying more and more online,” he said. “In August, students will be able to purchase a new or used textbook on the online store which will be delivered to your apartment or dorm.”

King said the Bulldog Online Student System will ask students if they would like to buy books or supplies after logging in. It will already identify the necessary books which have been chosen for the class.

He also said the community, which does not have a local bookstore, does not feel like they can access Tech’s easily. Also, during the day it is difficult to find parking.

“Accessibility and comfort are what the bookstore is looking for in this transition,” King said.

Bryan Babcock, a bookstore student worker and junior speech communication major, is excited about new changes with the Tech bookstore.

“It is a little overwhelming with everything hitting all at once,” he said. “All of us workers at the bookstore are prepared for the change and ready to attack this new adventure with drive and determination.”

He said the Barnes & Noble people are some of the greatest people he has ever met, and they are welcoming them into the B&N family.

Babcock said, “The bookstore will be owned by a company, but we will still have the same friendly staff and atmosphere we have always had in the past.”