The NIU Board of Trustees announced today that the university has selected Follett Higher Education Group to manage campus bookstore operations.
After reviewing proposals from numerous national chains, the university selected Follett as its retail partner based on the resources, technology and product selection it can provide to meet the needs of the NIU campus community.
“Follett is an established leader in the college textbook industry and we are confident that they will offer our students and our faculty greater selection, lower prices, better access to materials and a host of other benefits,” said NIU Acting President Lisa Freeman.
Taking Follett on as a partner also has several financial benefits for the university.
By transferring bookstore operations to our new partner Follett, the university will save about $3.6 million a year in costs associated with that operation. On top of that, NIU will earn a commission on all sales, so the store will remain a revenue source for the university. Follett also will pay for the cost of constructing the new bookstore as part of the remodeling of the Holmes Student Center, which will begin this summer, potentially freeing up money for upgrades in other areas.
Additionally, Freeman said, partnering with Follett puts the bookstore into the hands of experts at a time when the college textbook industry is evolving in a fast and uncertain manner.
“Follett is better equipped to respond to the many, developing challenges in that fast-changing sector,” said Freeman. “By leaving the management of the bookstore to experts we can devote more of our time and resources to our core mission, and focus on our attention on preparing students for success in their lives and careers.”
Follet executives said that they are excited to form a new partnership with NIU.
“Follett’s focus is on enhancing the Northern Illinois University experience, so you can expect a campus store that delivers great products, welcomes the community, celebrates campus spirit and promotes affordable course material options,” said Clay Wahl, president of Follett Higher Education. “We look forward to serving Northern Illinois University students, parents, alumni, fans, faculty and staff.”
The company places an emphasis on affordability and service. For students, that means access to new, used, print and digital options. The company also offers a text rental program that offers books at costs up to 80 percent less than the purchase price. Follet is also a leader in providing class materials electronically.
The current Huskie Books and Gear Bookstore will operate on the ground floor of the Holmes Student Center until 5 p.m. Monday, May 14. Students can purchase books for Summer 2018 online beginning Tuesday, May 15, and can do so through the Huskie Books and Gear Bookstore website. Books can be shipped to students beginning with or picked up at the Holmes Student Center Room 141, immediately across from the Capitol Room on the main floor.
A temporary spirit wear store will open in the HSC Gallery Lounge on Monday, June 4.