Stony Brook University has teamed up with Barnes & Noble as its official bookstore and campus store provider beginning October 22, 2020.
The current retail environment and textbook market has rapidly changed, making it necessary for the Faculty Student Association (FSA) to revisit the existing strategies and look for solutions that better serve the campus.
The SBU selection committee included members of the campus community representing many different voices and perspectives on campus, including students, faculty and staff. The main goals of the committee were to select a provider that would improve affordability for Stony Brook students by reducing the cost of textbooks and course materials, improve customer satisfaction through cutting-edge retail innovation and advance exposure of the Stony Brook University brand by increasing the selection and marketing of our University emblematic merchandise.
After a national competitive bid process, Barnes & Noble stood out as a partner that would offer a better program and expand opportunities for students to save on their overall costs of course materials including textbook rentals. Barnes & Noble is the only operator that controls its own supply chain for used and rental course materials, offering access to the largest inventory of low-cost course materials in the industry, which is important, especially during a pandemic.
FSA and the committee wanted to ensure that the vendor selected would provide easy access to affordable textbooks and course materials, communicate effectively and proactively with faculty regarding the use of all types of course materials, provide excellent customer service in-store and online, provide exceptional value to customers shopping for logo apparel and merchandise as well as create a dynamic, exciting retail environment that promotes and enhances the Stony Brook brand.
“Our goal is to focus on providing the best service to our students, making their day better in any way we can, and improving the affordability of textbooks and course materials,” stated Van Sullivan, executive director, Faculty Student Association. “The campus stores will close from October 21 through November 1 to switch to our new vendor, but we are excited about the store refresh that Barnes & Noble will be performing during that time.”
Barnes & Noble will operate our campus stores, Shop Red West in the lower level of the Melville Library, and Shop Red East on Level 2, Room 310 of Health Sciences, where school supplies and official Stony Brook licensed goods and gear are available for purchase. They will also operate the online store sbushopred.com.
Among the exciting changes, Barnes & Noble will be rolling out a next-generation eCommerce solution that will offer a more personalized and localized digital experience, a variety of new mobile app features such as SMS, curbside pick-up, egift cards and a rewards program and new point-of-sale technology to enhance the customer experience. Their course material adoption tool, Adoption & Insights Portal, is the best in the industry and will streamline course materials management for faculty to easily research titles, formats, price and open educational resources (OER) materials that best meet learning objectives for courses.
With this new partnership, there will be job opportunities for students at the campus stores as well as a retail internship program to prepare students for careers in retail after college. Current campus store student employees can transfer their employment to Barnes & Noble.
“The Faculty Student Association is working closely with Barnes & Noble to provide a smooth, successful and speedy transition,” explained Amanda Alicea, FSA business development manager.
Students will be ordering their course materials through the new portal for winter-term classes and for the spring semester. Additional information will be provided at stonybrook.edu/bookstore over the next few weeks.