Akademos_Blog

The New Hybrid College Bookstore Model - Webinar Materials Available

Posted by Nicole Cimo on October 21, 2015

Last week we were joined by Derrick Singleton, VP of Operations and Sustainability of Berea College, and John Squires, CEO of Akademos for an informative webinar highlighting "The New Hybrid College Bookstore Model”. If you were unable to join us for this discussion, we wanted to make the presentation and recording of the session available for download at no cost by clicking here.

Capture-1The feedback from attendees has been extremely positive. Participants found the discussion to be highly informative, relevant and engaging. This session provided a first-hand look at:

  • The challenges Berea College faced regarding student satisfaction and textbook affordability 
  • How Berea implemented a new model combining an online bookstore offering lower priced textbooks with a best-in-class on-campus shop
  • Berea's results to date on bookstore utilization, textbook prices and key lessons learned from this new bookstore and campus shop model

Click here to request webinar materials See how these and other important topics are addressed in this interactive webinar. The recording of the session and presentation materials are available to you and others at your institution at no cost.

Topics: Webinars & Events, New Bookstore Models

New Webinar Registration Now Open: The New Hybrid College Bookstore Model

Posted by Nicole Cimo on September 30, 2015

Please note: this webinar has ended, but the recording and presentation materials are available to you at no cost by clicking here.


We are pleased to announce that registration is now open for a new webinar featuring an interactive discussion and live case study on the hybrid college bookstore model.

Register for Free Today: The New Hybrid College Bookstore Model
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For many institutions the bookstore is an integral part of the campus experience. However, maintaining a campus shop has become increasingly challenging as competition from online, third-party providers has intensified and students are leaving the school-sanctioned bookstore in search of better pricing. 

In this special interactive webinarlearn how institutions are winning back studentsgrowing sales and positioning themselves to thrive in the future by implementing a new model that combines an online bookstore offering lower priced textbooks with a best-in-class on-campus shop. 



This live webinar is on Tuesday, October 13 from 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM ET and will feature:

  • Derrick Singleton, VP of Operations and Sustainability, Berea College
  • John Squires, CEO, Akademos, Inc.

Space is limited - so register today!  

Click here to request webinar materials

 

This webinar is being produced in conjuction with NACAS' Online Education and Business Innovation Forum.

Topics: Webinars & Events, New Bookstore Models

The Future of College Bookstore Services – New eBook Now Available

Posted by Jonathan Shar on September 21, 2015

Strategic insights on how to meet the demands for lower cost textbooks, more choice and convenience for students, and enhanced tools and services for administrators and faculty.

Today, we announced the release of an exciting new eBook highlighting what the future holds for college bookstore services. 

eBook_Cover

Download The Future of College Bookstore Services eBook today

Since 1978, college textbook prices have grown 945%, increasing 3.5x times faster than the Consumer Price Index. College administrators, faculty, students, and parents are increasingly concerned about the escalating cost of textbooks. Colleges are now searching for new solutions to lower costs and support their core mission of educating students.

The Future of College Bookstore Services eBook highlights:

  • The challenges college administrators face regarding the cost of textbooks and course materials
  • Proprietary research providing an important snapshot of the current market landscape, key developing trends, and revealing data points that suggest how bookstore services will need to adapt going forward
  • Case studies and best practices of new bookstore service models that a growing number of institutions have already implemented and are seeing immediate results
  • Potential solutions to enable institutions to thrive in the future  

“The Future of College Bookstore Services eBook provides a roadmap for college and university administrators to help navigate the challenges they face regarding the cost and distribution of textbooks and course materials.” said Jonathan Shar, Chief Marketing Officer of Akademos. “While every campus is unique and requires a customized solution to address many distinct challenges, the one thing that is clear is that the time to take action is now.”

Click Here to Request the Exclusive eBook

To download a copy of The Future of College Bookstore Services eBook, go to http://info.akademos.com/future-college-bookstore-services. This exclusive eBook is available at no charge.

Topics: New Bookstore Models

How Colleges Bookstores Can Thrive With The New Hybrid Bookstore Model – Exclusive White Paper Now Available

Posted by Jonathan Shar on July 29, 2015

The New Hybrid College Bookstore Model White Paper was released today and is now available for download. 

This exclusive report provides key learning on how institutions are successfully implementing a low-cost online bookstore offering, while building a best-in-class on-campus shop.

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Download The New Hybrid College Bookstore Model White Paper today - available at no charge.

For many institutions, the college bookstore is an integral part of the campus experience, but maintaining a vibrant retail shop has become increasingly challenging as competition from online, third-party providers has intensified and students are leaving the school-sanctioned bookstore in search of better pricing on their textbooks and course materials.

This new White Paper is a must read for administrators who are critically evaluating their current bookstore model and considering new approaches. Learn how college bookstores can win back students, thrive in the future - and review key steps for establishing this new model, including:

  • Creating a vision for a new store strategy
  • Online service requirements
  • New potential services
  • Revenue-generating product ideas
  • Managing the transition

Click Here to Download the Exclusive White Paper

 

Topics: New Bookstore Models

From Brick and Mortar to a New Hybrid Bookstore Model

Posted by Jonathan Shar on June 25, 2015

This article was originally published on the National Association of College and Auxiliary Services (NACAS) website on June 4, 2015 (http://collegeservices.nacas.org/from-brick-and-mortar-to-digital).

From brick and mortar to digital

Author: Derrick Singleton, Vice President of Operations & Sustainability at Berea College

Because it is an endowment-driven institution, Berea College’s commitment to serve its student population through the no-tuition promise drives a sense of urgency to be excellent financial stewards and caring service providers— our decision to embrace technology and move to a new hybrid model for our college bookstore enhances our ability to be both.

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Berea College is a unique institution. One of just seven federally recognized Work Colleges in the U.S., Berea provides a no-cost tuition scholarship for all 1,600 students who are required to work at least 10 hours per week. With an emphasis on service to the people of Appalachia and beyond, only academically promising students with very limited economic means are eligible to enroll. Because it is an endowment-driven institution, the college’s commitment to serve its student population through the no-tuition promise drives a sense of urgency to be excellent financial stewards and caring service providers— our decision to embrace technology and move to a new hybrid model for our college bookstore enhances our ability to be both.

Financial Considerations

The financial performance of our college bookstore had been steadily declining since 2008, but had accelerated downward 22 percent in gross sales just since 2012. As we performed a deeper analysis around store operations as part of a Lean Continuous Improvement project, we recognized our “sell-through” ratio (total books sold compared to the total that could have been sold if each student enrolled in each class bought each adopted textbook) had also dropped precipitously over the same time period.

In discussions with student focus groups, it was clear the reason was market forces—our bookstore was simply not competitive in comparison to the online options available to students. In addition, the store did not attract significant foot traffic from outside the college community for ancillary sales, requiring it to rely predominantly on the student population. However, the financial demographic of the students we serve pro-vides a headwind that prevents sufficient margins on sales of spirit wear, personal expression merchandise, etc., without significant price in-creases that would run counter to our mission of providing the most affordable education possible for our students.

The Plan of Action

As a result of our research and discussions, we have embraced technology as a key component of a two-phased move from a traditional bookstore model. Our new approach is a hybrid model: part digital, part brick and mortar. In phase one, we partnered with Akademos, an online provider of textbooks, and migrated all textbooks sales online to a digital store. In phase two, we merged our existing store with the college’s visitor center and SCOTS, an outlet of the college’s famed student-made crafts.

The goal of the new combined brick-and-mortar model is to create a “one-stop shop” for visitors to experience Berea College and all it has to offer—something possible in the past, but requiring visits to three different locations on campus. The new model allows obvious synergies for better cost effectiveness, as staff for sales and back-of-house functions can be shared; that wasn’t possible before with three separate functions operating in three distinct locations.

However, the exciting opportunity arising with this new approach is that it allows us to better introduce visitors to the opportunity to share in the college’s transformative mission. This will be done through interpretive historical displays and audio/visual kiosks that tell the unique history of the college, the freedom to directly interact with student artisans who can share firsthand the transformative impact of the mission of the college, and shopping for Berea College themed merchandise, regional trade books, and hand-made crafts.

Reversing the Trends

We experienced minor bumps in the road as might be expected—such as a sense of loss with some faculty of an intellectual space where one is surrounded by books, as well as limited availability issues for some unique Humanities readings, and with students buying after classes began or from less accountable providers. However, we have been pleased with our decision to move textbook sales online with our partner, and we believe the positives outweigh the bumps. In the two semesters since we made the move to migrate all textbook sales online, our textbook sell-through ratio improved from just 46 percent in the 2013-14 year to 66 percent in the 2014-15 year. More importantly to our mission of serving students of great promise and limited economic resources, our average overall (new and used) cost of textbooks to students was 43 percent lower than the last available NACS reported average (used textbooks only). The new digital bookstore model also offers better support and consumer protection for our students in comparison to buying online on their own with unknown and varied quality. With more textbooks now being sold by capitalizing on technology in our digital bookstore—and most importantly for us, with those books being sold at a lower price for our students—we are confident the decision to embrace the emerging trends offered through technology was the correct one.

About the Author: Derrick Singleton
Derrick Singleton is vice president of operations & sustainability at Berea College. Among other areas, his responsibilities include oversight of campus auxiliary businesses and services. He is a chemical engineer with an MBA and earned degrees from Eastern Kentucky University, Sullivan University, and the University of Kentucky.

 

Topics: New Bookstore Models

The Changing Role of the College Bookstore

Posted by Jonathan Shar on April 21, 2015

The college bookstore services landscape has been radically transformed over the last few years as students, faculty and administrators are increasingly concerned about the escalating costs of textbooks. Colleges are now searching for new solutions to lower costs and support their core mission of educating students.

change

In the begining of 2013, Akademos published the first comprehensive survey of college CFOs regarding the future of bookstore services. One question participants were asked to address was their opinion on the primary role of the bookstore.  

Overwhelmingly, College CFO's (80% of them) chose providing textbooks as the bookstore's central objective.

2012-2013_Primary_Role_of_the_Bookstore

See how the opinion of CFOs throughout the country has now changed when Akademos reveals its first look at the recently completed follow-up study on the trends and future of textbook services during our live webinar.

Learn what leading college CFOs think about the evolving bookstore model and hear from one such leader, Robert Pignatello, on how John Jay College reimagined the college bookstore for the 21st century. This special webinar will prove helpful to college administrators across the country facing these and other related challenges.

Click here to request webinar materials

The discussion, lead by John Squires, CEO of Akademos along with Robert Pignatello, SVP Finance and Administration at CUNY’s John Jay College provides insightful commentary on the key findings.

 

 

Topics: Research, New Bookstore Models