New bookstore management in full swing

As the new year begins, the Biola bookstore’s new management has brought about some positive changes.



Staff member Joseph Peckham helps senior Bree Olson finish her purchases. Follett Higher Education Group now manages the campus bookstore.

Dayna Drum, Writer

Staff member Joseph Peckham helps senior Bree Olson finish her purchases. Follett Higher Education Group now manages the campus bookstore. | Tomber Su/THE CHIMES

Follett Higher Education Group’s management of the campus bookstore is off to a smooth start this fall. By offering a more efficient textbook system and a higher level of customer service, the change has been a positive one, according to Harry Edwards, manager of the Biola bookstore.


Follett brought in an entirely new system and made some major changes to the bookstore, both practical and aesthetic. One major alteration in the bookstore was the closure of the computer store. Follett believed that the number of sales did not justify the space used for the computer store, according to Don Sims, director of auxiliary services. The technology page of the bookstore’s website now offers laptops, tablets, software and other accessories from brands like Dell, Samsung and Microsoft.

Other changes include a cleaner and more organized appearance, more online merchandise and a larger selection of rentable textbooks, Edwards said. Additionally, Follet strives to provide fast and quality customer service, he said. Edwards has been working with the bookstore for 15 years and feels that the transition is going as smoothly as it can. The first three weeks of the semester are considered rush week, and adding a management shift is difficult on the staff, Edwards explained. However, the staff is giving 100 percent effort in adapting to the changes, he said.


Members of the bookstore staff also have a positive perspective and say they are transitioning well, said Peter Morgan, junior history major and bookstore employee. Morgan prefers Follett’s new system over the old system, which required students to pick up their books in the parking lot.

New students had little complaint about the system as well.

“The system is pretty easy, and the bookstore appears to be running smoothly,” said Anni Panagiotis, freshman international business major.

Edwards expressed that though only time will tell, he sees the potential for success in Biola’s relationship with Follett. Other staff members share Edwards’ positive outlook for the bookstore’s future.

“We hope it works out to be a little bit better than when we were doing it ourselves,” Sims said.

Follett took over management of the Biola bookstore in July as the need for a management company became financially necessary, according to Sims.

“It’s a challenge for independent school stores to make things pay for itself. We don’t want tuition dollars to go towards it,” Sims said.

Follett is the largest operator of college bookstores in North America and the industry’s largest wholesaler of used books for higher education, according to a previous Chimes article. In the end, Follett is believed to be the right fit for Biola, Sims said.


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