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Textbook pricing lies squarely with publishers, who many times inflate the costs of owning books. This has consequently changed the consumption trend of the students. Students are slowly resorting to e-book buying and book renting in order to cut on their educational expenditure. Barnes and Noble College Booksellers, a large bookstore operating over 637 stores nationally are grappling with this challenge.
The need to maintain their competitive advantage has prompted them to introduce services such as e-reader, Starbuck café within the store etc. The University of Toledo branch of Barnes and Noble Booksellers is to be moved from the Student Union to new Gateway Plaza in 2012. A research was therefore conducted to establish the students’ trends at the bookstores and any possibility of change in this trend due to change of location.
A similar survey conducted in 2010-2011 by Book Industry Study Group (BISG) revealed that 75% of students preferred printed text to e-text despite the high costs. It also cited that 65% majority prefer to do their purchases at the bookstores. In the Barnes and Noble Bookseller change of location survey, 50 respondents are interviewed. The questions were based on gender, age, income, residence among others. The age groupings of the interviewees were from 18-26+.
The findings were that majority of the bookstore clients were aged between 21 and 25 then 18-20 with just about 20% being over 26. 75% of this population lived within 5 miles of the campus. Majority of the respondents had annual income of less than $15000. Half of the respondents admitted that change of location will interfere with their frequency of visit to the bookstore while the other half had no problem with the change of location. From the responses, it was decided that incentives would be given to encourage costumer loyalty and retention at the Barnes and Noble bookstore.