Campus Store outsources textbook retail, saves students money


Students purchase course textbooks in the Campus Store, which recently outsourced textbook retail. Photo: Molly Waits

As most of you have probably noticed, buying textbooks through BJU’s Campus Store was a little different this semester. The most obvious differences are the new website and different checkout lines. But the change is bigger than that, with BJU hiring BBA Solutions to handle all textbook business on campus.

Mr. Roy Hulehan, BJU’s director of retail, recently worked with the university administration on the decision to outsource textbook retail. “The textbook industry is very sophisticated,” Hulehan said. Selling textbooks requires knowing about the new editions coming out, if professors want to change textbooks for their classes, and predicting how many students will enroll in a class.

According to Hulehan, BBA Solutions was chosen to handle BJU’s textbook sales for many reasons. They are one of the largest textbook companies and the No. 1 provider of textbooks to Amazon. Because of their size, they can offer competitive pricing and a larger inventory.

“They see the importance of seeing their customer face to face,” Hulehan said. “They want to be on the campus and blended into the retail operation.”

Some of the improvements already seen are faster lines at the Campus Store and more options for used or rented textbooks. But more changes are on the way.

Hulehan said students will be able to order books online directly from their class schedules in the near future. Also coming are an iPhone app and scholarships for students to buy textbooks. Already this year $1,000 has been awarded to students who could not otherwise have purchased their books.

Textbook buyback, which was already in place at the Campus Store, will be expanded. “BBA Solutions can buy more textbooks because they can use them at other locations,” Hulehan said.

If all this change seems overwhelming, there will be some things that students will recognize from the old system. Books can still be ordered online and then picked up at the Campus Store with no shipping charge. The counter service, which allows students to access a book more quickly, will also stay in place.

The new system under BBA Solutions will bring many benefits to students as it adapts to BJU culture. “There will be increased availability, efficiency and more competitive pricing,” Hulehan said.