Barnes & Noble College to operate university bookstore

Barnes & Noble College to operate university bookstore

June 17
10:01 2013

Melissa Wylie / Contributing Writer

Barnes & Noble College’s upcoming takeover of the UNT bookstore will cause temporary closings before the store relocates later this summer for the two-year University Union renovations.

The bookstore will be closed June 24 through 28 while Barnes & Noble College moves in as the store’s new operator.

Barnes & Noble College will officially take over operations Jul. 1, said Zane Reif, director of the University Union.

The retail area of the bookstore will permanently close on July 21 in preparation for the Union renovations.

UNT’s book store will move to its temporary location at the intersection of Avenue C and Chestnut Street on August 12th, Reif said.

A temporary bookstore will be fully functional for the start of the fall semester and there is a comprehensive plan for communicating the changes to new and current students, Reif said.

The bookstore is expected to re-open in the Union in 2015 after renovations are completed.

Barnes & Noble College is likely to honor the textbook rental and buyback policies that are currently in place and student employees will be able to keep their positions, Reif said.

“We’re going to make sure that no students are harmed in this transition,” Reif said.

Assistant textbooks manager Joe Armstrong said the change will not affect book prices, as publishers determine the costs of textbooks.

Students are most likely to encounter problems when the bookstore closes for the transition, Armstrong said.

“I think initially it’s going to be upsetting, or more frustrating, just from the sheer fact of not having access,” Armstrong said.

A new operator was sought out when UNT’s 12-year contract with Follett Corp. expired earlier this year, Reif said.

“We were just looking for a little bit better value for students,” Reif said. “We were also looking for some name recognition, and Barnes & Noble has that.”

Theater arts sophomore Conor Warren works at the bookstore and said he feels that it is unlikely that students will notice any changes beyond the new name.

The refurbished bookstore is going to be more accessible and easier to navigate inside the Union, Reif said.

“There’s going to be an exterior entrance to the bookstore so they can operate their own hours independent of the actual Union,” Reif said.

Until the bookstore’s return to the Union, textbooks and merchandise will be housed in a structure consisting of either wood or concrete walls and a roof of tight, tent material, Reif said.

“We’ve worked very closely with Barnes & Noble to make sure that security isn’t an issue, and safety isn’t an issue,” Reif said. “Our architects and our contractors have assured us that it is very safe and secure.”

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