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Clarke University Partners with Akademos on New Hybrid Bookstore Model

Self-operated bookstores are becoming increasingly burdened by the complex requirements of managing course materials from negotiating prices with multiple publishers, to navigating state textbook regulations, competing with online sellers, and managing custom course packs and digital materials. Fast-evolving textbook service demands can strain staff and resources.

Outsourcing textbooks to a course materials provider allows staff to build a successful on-campus store that sells a range of branded clothing and other higher-margin merchandise. This strategy ultimately channels greater profits into student programs. Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa is the latest school to provide a forward-thinking hybrid bookstore model that optimizes affordability and services to students.

Optimizing Textbook Services and Affordability

Clarke University, a catholic, coeducational, nationally recognized liberal arts college, is partnering with Akademos to implement our online course materials solution, while they continue to operate an on-campus store to sell a range of branded clothing and other popular merchandise. Akademos will handle the complexities of course materials management through a centralized online platform. A web portal will be available for faculty to research books they want to use, adopt course materials, create course packs, and even estimate the costs to students. Clarke University students will have more choices, in multiple formats, delivery options, and even subscription-based materials available at 30 to 35 percent less than traditional brick-and-mortar bookstore providers.


“We decided to move to a hybrid bookstore model to give students more affordable textbook options and a seamless ordering process, while enabling us to improve the overall profitability of our retail operations.” said Beth McGrath, VP for Business and Finance. “After a thorough review process, Akademos stood out as the best partner for this win-win solution.”

To learn more about the Akademos and Clarke University’s partnership, read the full press release