The College Store is no more

After more than 20 years of offering students less expensive books, The College Store is closing its doors.

Nebraska Book Company, a textbook industry titan who owns 290 stores nationwide, including The College Store, filed for a Second Amended Plan for Reorganization and Disclosure Statement with the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on March 7.

Although NBC received an extension when it came to the performance evaluations of about 40 off-campus bookstores, The College Store still wasn’t up to par.

The College Store Manager Jessica Brost said business started to decline with the popularity and convenience of online sales.

“We are among several stores on the list that will be closing,” Brost said.

“To be honest, it’s very difficult to say. They were looking at our fall and spring sales. Our sales have been declining over time.”

According to NBC, online purchasing isn’t the only factor contributing to the decline of sales in the off-campus bookstores. Recently, many colleges and universities have offered the option of renting textbooks, and then selling them back for lesser value.

“This store definitely coincides with what the whole industry is going through when it comes to textbooks,” Brost said.

“It is very difficult to compete with Amazon or E-book.

“We pay more for books than they do. It’s a very tough thing to go through.”

The increase of online sales, textbook rentals and the popularity of tablets have left many employees of the industry jobless.

“Most of us here are going to be on the job market very soon. I’m just hoping for the best for all of us,” Brost said.

“It’s unfortunate because the minute we put everything on sale, a long line of people showed up.”

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  • As a former part-time employee and later assistant manager of what was then known as Rother’s Bookstore, I am saddened by this. I don’t know how much of the light rail hurt them or if it was just too hard for the store to transition from selling mostly textbooks to selling mostly apparel but I know when I was last in the store, the selection of some of the things that used to be big sellers (such as the law study aids) was tiny compared to when I was there.

  • Great. Less competition for the Barnes & Noble bookstore on campus. Though it's not like they really responded to The College Store's prices. Plus I liked their graphic advertisements and deals. But their online partnership with Neebo is a sham. I bought a textbook package at the College Store only to find their online partner, Neebo, had cheaper prices for the same thing. I ordered it thru Neebo, waited weeks only to find out that even thought it listed in transit, they didn't have the supply nor had they charged my credit card. I ended up having to buy it 2X more expensive at B&N b/c the College Store had ran out.

  • Unless it is a UH specific book, I don't see why more people don't buy from Amazon or other online retailers. I save well over $100 a semester by going through amazon instead of the B&N bookstore. It is a shame that the paper book is becoming a thing of the past and that many people are finding themselves jobless. However, it is for the greater good. Sometimes you have to level a building to build a better building.

  • Glad you are all happy that people are losing their jobs. You are all fantastic people. I wonder if any of you understand how this will work. Eventually Amazon and Kindles will start jacking up their prices because there is no competition for them. So eventually bookstores will be useless and everyone will be complaining that the online retailers are too high. People are never satisfied unless it is less than $10 or free. At least with a store you can actually talk to a person, that like you is a student, and not some automated message or someone in India. You guys suck!

  • Don't blame this all on industry challenges. This company was extremely mismanaged and had acquired insane amounts of debt in order to grow. Problem is, they were backwards, invested little in technology, and believe it or not kept raising margins during the recession. Lost of campus stores are thriving and few of them have any affiliation with NBC or Neebo.

  • You guys should rent books from Barnes & Noble on-campus. Much cheaper, 50% of the price of a new book!

  • I rented a book from there this semester. Does anyone know if I still need to return the book some other place? I don't want to be charged for not returning it!

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