New Bookstore Vendor Named
Loyola press release - May 1, 2003
On Friday, March 21, 2003 the university elected to terminate its contract with Follett Higher Education Group for the operation and management of bookstore operations, ending a 12-year association on amicable terms. College Book Stores of America (CBA) will begin operation on Monday, May 12.
Given recent changes in Follett corporate leadership, unreasonable directives to store managers, and the decline in financial returns to both parties a change in vendors was warranted. The University felt that the core missions and philosophies of Follett and Loyola have become increasingly incompatible and regrets that a stronger partnership with Follett was unable to be formed.
The decision to terminate Follett and accept College Book Stores of America was made by unanimous committee recommendation to Fr. Knoth, who accepted. The committee was composed of Dr. Dee Harper and Dr. Andrew MacDonald, appointed by the interim Provost Lydia Voigt; Mike Breath, Rhonda Cartwright, and Debbie Zimmerman of Business and Finance; Chris Cameron and Dr. James Eiseman from Student Affairs; and student Martina Mills of the Student Government Association Academic Affairs committee.
Several employees of one of the larger contract management companies founded College Book Stores of America in 1984. With the growth of bookstore contract management, a void existed serving small to medium-sized institutions. Local autonomy versus centralized management is the operating philosophy that has made CBA unique and successful. This philosophy has provided flexibility in store operations allowing for personalized service on each campus so operations are transparent – from a customer’s perspective it looks as if the university is running the operation. Loyola will enjoy the status of being one of CBA’s largest accounts thereby garnering exceptional attention.
All Follett bookstore employees with the exception of manager Doug Howard have been offered employment with CBA at not less than their current salary for a six-month fair trial period. At the end of this period, CBA may, upon ninety days written notice from the end of the trial period, terminate employees who after proper counseling and training have not met acceptable CBA employment standards. The university does not employ bookstore personnel and therefore all wages and salaries are confidential to Follett/CBA.
Carol Knight and Dwan Haydel have accepted the positions of Bookstore Manager and Bookstore Assistant Manager respectively. Not only are they highly qualified because both have worked in the bookstore since the late 1980’s, both women appreciate Loyola’s culture and understand the university’s expectations. Carol is especially excited to implement a number of positive changes that will return our service to an acceptable level and in time will exceed our expectations. I have asked Carol to meet individually with many of you to gather your feedback on other changes you believe would be beneficial.
Transition Date Closing
The bookstore will be closed on Thursday, May 8 through Saturday, May 10 for inventory and transition.
Students will be able to sell their textbooks back to CBA out of the Wolf Den on the lower level of the Danna Center beginning May 5. Exam supplies (blue books, scan cards, etc) will also be available in the Wolf Den. Buy-back must occur in a separate location to prevent confusion over text inventory between Follett and CBA.
- Monday, May 5 12:00pm – 6:30pm
- Tuesday, May 6 8:30am – 6:30pm
- Wednesday, May 7 8:30am – 6:30pm
- Thursday, May 8 8:30am – 6:30pm
- Friday, May 9 8:30am – 4:30pm
- Saturday, May 10 10:00am – 2:00pm
- Sunday, May 11 CLOSED
- Monday, May 12 8:30am – 6:30pm. Both bookstore levels will be re-open for normal business.
Textbook adoptions will continue to be collected for summer and fall 2003 sessions by Carol Knight through the normal procedure. Summer adoptions should be completed no later than May 1, 2003 to ensure texts are on the shelves in a timely fashion.
Students may see a small percentage drop in textbook prices, as CBA does not pass on freight costs to its customers. Because CBA does not subscribe to a centralized management philosophy, the bookstore will be able to purchase texts from a variety of sources at the lowest possible prices to pass on to students. Textbook pricing however is still largely dependent on the publisher’s retail price.
Follett purchase orders for clothing and supplies have been cancelled, and items will be sold until inventory is depleted. Additionally, trade books will be returned to the publisher on a staggered basis. CBA has negotiated with Follett which merchandise it will purchase; there will be a small lag time before CBA can fully restock the store to an acceptable level.
Financed largely by CBA, we will renovate both levels of the bookstore over the summer months. Plans include repainting and upgrading shelving in the lower text department and new carpet, tile, paint, and shelving on the main level. Also on the retail level, we will be knocking down a wall to make the stairs to the text department more visible; this will have the added benefit of increasing traffic flow during rush periods when students are buying their texts for the semester.
Social Justice Issues
As is long-standing university practice, Loyola will contractually require CBA to pay any new, non-student employee who would normally be hired at Federal minimum wage the social justice wage. Additionally, the University is a member of the Worker’s Rights Consortium and will require CBA to abide by all policies regarding the non-purchase of sweatshop labor apparel.
If you have additional questions, please contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you once again for your patience and understanding during this transition. I am confident that this much-needed change in contractors will create positive results for Loyola.