The Citadel enters partnership with Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble College Booksellers will take over textbook sales and operations at The Citadel Gift Shop under a new partnership that takes effect May 4, 2010.
Operating bookstores at more than 750 colleges and universities, Barnes & Noble will operate The Citadel Gift Shop, moving textbook and academics supplies sales from the Cadet Store to a renovated store in Mark Clark Hall. The Cadet Store will remain open and will manage vending operations, the barber shop and cadet uniform sales.
“The services we were able to offer could not keep up with industry standards. By partnering with Barnes & Noble, we, like the College of Charleston, University of South Carolina, Clemson and VMI, are benefiting from their experience, technology and buying power,” Citadel President Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa said in making the announcement to students and employees today.
The Cadet Store’s five employees are not affected by the new partnership with Barnes & Noble. Over time the Cadet Store operations could expand to include other services similar to a military base exchange for cadets, faculty and staff.
The eight Citadel employees in the gift shop will keep their jobs but will become employees of Barnes & Noble, a company with good benefits and opportunities for expanded professional advancement, Rosa said.
Update 10 June 2010: Renovations to the gift shop are scheduled to begin June 28 and be completed by Aug. 1. The gift shop will remain open during the renovation. The online gift shop web page have been redesigned to make browsing and shopping easier. New merchandise will be added over the coming weeks.
As part of its five-year contract with The Citadel, Barnes & Noble will renovate the gift and college concessions at Johnson Hagood Stadium and will provide mobile concessions that can be used at other athletic events and special activities on campus. The Gift Shop in Mark Clark Hall also will be renovated to include books and gift items and reading and browsing areas where visitors can sit and relax while shopping.
“When cadets and graduate students return for fall classes, they will find a modern and technologically advanced bookstore that will make book buying easier and will provide cost savings through online ordering and a larger inventory of new, used, rental and e-books,” said Sue Mitchell, vice president of business and finance.
Renovations will begin sometime in June and be completed by July 1. The Gift Shop will remain open during renovations.
Students and faculty will find increased convenience and selection when the new facility is ready this summer. In addition, book buying will be integrated with class registration.
“The days of waiting in checkout lines and hunting the aisles for the right books for each class are gone,” said Charlie Adams, director of auxiliary services. “Now students can go online, find their schedules and see a personalized shopping cart filled with each text they will need. All they need to do is make their choices and their books can be shipped to their mailing address, be delivered to their class or the barracks or be available for store pick up.”
Faculty also will have more options when it comes to selecting textbooks for their courses.
Dedicated textbook management teams can help faculty search an online database of more than 250,000 titles. They will know in advance what students will have to pay for the books selected, allowing them to make more affordable choices for their students.
“With access to rental books, e-books, and a larger selection of used books we really expect textbook costs to go down for our students,” Adams said.
Professors also will have access to the Faculty Center Network, a free online resource that streamlines the textbook research process by giving faculty access to information on where and how frequently titles are used, as well as author biographies and peer reviews.
Barnes & Noble will meet with faculty members to explain the services available and provide training on textbook ordering.
“Barnes & Noble has the latest technology and scope of operations to benefit faculty and students alike by expanding options and achieving savings,” said Sam Hines, provost and dean of the college. “With all the changes that are occurring as a result of electronic publishing and new devices, like iPad, it is important that The Citadel be current and o take full advantage of these new opportunities to meet the educational needs of both faculty and students."
The partnership with Barnes & Noble could generate 15 percent in new revenue over the five-year contract. The college will save approximately $250,000 immediately in personnel costs because the gift shop employees will become Barnes and Nobel employees.
“We wanted a partner that understood our desire to maintain Citadel traditions,” Adams said. “Their conceptual design really captured The Citadel look and incorporates a more modern updated feel that will appeal to today’s students while paying respect to The Citadel history.”