College bookstores adapting to changing times with additional services

In the corner of the Seton Hill University Bookstore sit a few short aisles stacked with textbooks.

Most of the Sullivan Hall store is devoted to apparel, school supplies and gifts. A few shelves are stocked with personal care items, while a multi-tiered Boots cosmetics display and a collection of Crabtree & Evelyn lotions earn prime real estate near the checkout counter.

“It used to be books took up three-quarters of the store,” said Barbara Hinkle, Seton Hill vice president for administration and the university’s registrar.

Today, textbooks occupy about a quarter of the store, managed by Nebraska-based Neebo, which owns more than 250 college bookstores nationwide.

“(The store) has done a nice job adapting. Students want stuff,” Hinkle said, motioning to a metal bin of stuffed Griffins, the school’s mascot.

Seton Hill keeps students shopping in-house by offering rentals and e-books and beating competitors’ prices by 10 percent if students show they found a lower price elsewhere.

“The price match has kept our sales where they are,” said Amy Biller, bookstore manager. —College bookstores adapting to changing times with additional services – Financial and Business News – MENAFN.