Friday, February 20, 2009

B&N's time at UND coming to a close

In a little over a month, Barnes and Noble will no longer be a presence on the UND campus. As of April 1, B&N will relinquish management of the University Bookstore to Follett Higher Education Group. Follett is the nation's largest campus bookstore management company with more than 750 stores under their umbrella.

B&N's 10 year history at UND appears to have been, at times, inconsistent with what the campus and the community have desired in a bookstore like this. Many (including me!) have complained about their limited hours which seem to only get more limited with every passing year. Also, students and professors alike seem to have some very strong feelings about Barnes and Noble.

I think the store is very attractive...few campuses have a nicer looking bookstore. I have also enjoyed shopping in the store's general merchandise section over the years. Still, even that is a bit lacking when you compare it with the titles and selection that a traditional Barnes and Noble would carry.

I still don't believe that the Barnes and Noble group is going to be satisfied with having absolutely no presence in a metropolitan area of around 100,000 people. I see a south-side store coming in the not-to-distant future...what about you?

So what will Follett bring to the UND campus when it arrives this spring? What do YOU want it to bring?

I'm sure many people would like to see longer hours. The closest Follett-managed campus bookstore is at St. Cloud State University. Check out their hours here. The latest they stay open is difference there when compared with B&N's current closing time.

Tell us what you would hope to see at the UND Bookstore come this April. WIll you miss B&N?  Are you excited about Follett?


Windlistener said...

Since this B&N wasn't a corporate store, it didn't participate in many of the programs that "normal" B&N stores would. For example, most B&N's have an educator discount program for homeschooling. This one didn't. I'd love to see a regular B&N open here.

Elucidarian said...

"absolutely no presence?" Don't forget B. Dalton in the mall is a B&N property. The name is different and it doesn't cater to coffee drinkers, but that's about all the difference.

Andrew said...

If, as a result, it looses the nice section of science and technology books (some of which may have had more to do with offered UND curricula), I'd be sad. Though not a student at UND, I occasionally bought up unique physics and photography-related books.

Matthew said...

I have a feeling that (unfortunately) Follett will be the same as Barnes and Noble regarding hours and selection. I haven't heard what the final agreement was, but I imagine the student representatives on the selection board got steamrolled.

Another question about that, even though it's a year past: why did UND only send out requests for proposals to five bookstore chains, instead of an open request to anyone who was interested?

Carm said...

If Barnes and Noble isn't interested in adding a full size store to our city, maybe Borders would be... or Chapters.

There's a HUGE difference between B Dalton and Barnes and Noble. Selection and size primarily. The space to truly browse the books.

And the greatest disappointment to me all these years with having a college version of Barnes and Noble rather than a full size store? The lack of a music section.

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