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Barnes & Noble Education is Opening College Bookstores Right and Left

3088174521_7dfb28274e_bWhen B&N Education was spun off from Barnes & Noble last year, it said it was going to expand its presence in the college bookstore industry by signing new contracts with colleges and universities to run their bookstores. While at that time that sounded like the usual optimistic hype found in a prospectus, as we have seen over the past month there is a fair amount of truth to the hype.

I haven’t been writing about it, but a number of schools, including Collin College in Texas, Monroe College in New York,  Georgetown University, Youngstown State U in Ohio, Northern Michigan U.Rhode Island College, other schools have recently signed contracts with B&N.

Barnes & Noble has signed more deals with colleges and universities in the past couple years than Amazon. The latter has announced or opened a total of 18 pickup locations on or near colleges in the past couple years, including unstores at UW-Madison and the University of Illinois Chicago.

In fact, B&N announced last week that they had signed 18 new contracts this fiscal year, and close to a couple dozen contracts in the last one.  A full list of contracts awarded for stores to open in FY2017 includes:

  • Assumption College
  • Bates Technical College
  • Chabot College
  • Coastal Carolina University
  • Collin College
  • Colorado College
  • Georgetown University
  • Lincoln Memorial University
  • Northern Michigan University
  • Ocean County College
  • Rhode Island College
  • Robeson Community College
  • Seton Hill University
  • St. Mary’s University
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Youngstown State University

With that kind of expansion, what are B&N Ed’s chances for succeeding in an industry being disrupted by online retailers like eCampus, MBS Direct, and Amazon?

image by Tony Webster

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Bob August 20, 2016 um 6:11 pm

The outrageously high prices of college textbooks is part of the screwing of young people by the colleges. I just bought a Sony DPT-S1 e-reader and it is an outstanding piece of hardware that is great for reading e-textbooks. It is expensive, about $600 recently, but since most textbooks cost more (sometimes a lot more) than $100 it could pay for itself fast. Plus you can use it to take class notes and read downloaded academic papers. Unfortunately, Sony may be cancelling it. It has disappeared from Amazon and BHPhotoVideo. I think there are some large format alternatives but when I looked into them they were not as polished as the Sony.

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