Bryn Mawr Taking Back Management of Campus Bookstore
In a reversal of the usual college bookstore trend, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pa., is taking over management of its own bookstore, effective in May, the school announced. The bookstore has been managed for the past four years by Follett Higher Education Group.
Bryn Mawr chief administrative officer Jerry Berenson said that a major reason for the change was the school's belief that "an independent store will provide better service to meet the academic program needs of the community and offer merchandise more attractive to all of its customers."
The college had contracted with Follett, he said, because it thought Follett would compete better with online booksellers. "But new technologies are now available to assist independent bookstores to price books competitively with on-line sellers," Berenson continued. "Also, excellent used book and book rental programs can now be more easily managed by an independent store."
Berenson added that the college hopes an independent bookstore will offer "the sort of customer service and community connection some felt has been lost in recent years" and will draw back former customers. "We want to be a partner and resource for all campus departments, alumnae/i, visitors, and hopefully the local community."
The College is searching for a store manager. The store will offer internships allowing students "to work in all facets of store operations, such as merchandise selection, marketing, website maintenance, and social media."