Here’s a piece from last week’s news that we just couldn’t let go without comment.
You may not know this about BookRenter, but we’re wild about independent campus stores. They are the heart of a campus and the only retailers out there that have students’ best interest in mind.
We were very sad to hear that the independent campus store at Humbolt State University was the latest store of many to cease operations as an independent store following a vote to allow the Follett Corporation to run the store under a lease agreement.
This begs the question, with more than 7,500 students, why couldn’t the HSU store operate successfully?
We cannot say for certain what happened at HSU, but here is a pattern that we see emerging – one that we find truly dismaying and bad for students.
An independent campus store operates in support of a college and its students. The profits of that store are returned to the college in the form of lowered costs for education. It is in the store’s best interest to do what is right for their students.
A lease store, such as the one now operated by Follett at Humbolt State, operates for the benefit of a corporation. Dollars flow from students to a corporation that operates for the benefit of its owners. The schools makes some money on the deal, but the fact remains – the relationship between the campus and the student is handed over in part to a corporation that cares about its profits a whole lot more than whether or not the students can afford their textbooks.
Why does BookRenter care? We are passionate about one thing and one thing only – making education more affordable and accessible to students.
We think it’s important to help independent bookstores remain independent so they can fulfill their mission to students. That’s why we give them free (yes, free!) access to the same cutting edge technology that we use to run bookrenter.com. This allows them to offer a superior in store and online shopping experience that delights their students.
So, when you shop at your college store, find out where those dollars go. If they aren’t coming back to you, the student, then maybe it’s time to shop somewhere else.