Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers



Social Media Spectacular Part One

Posted by Liz Schulte on 6/23/17 5:30 AM

Building a fanbase on social media isn’t as hard as you think. It boils down to knowing how the platforms work, understanding your audience and offering a variety of content. Once you master these elements, apply consistently. Your posts can experience what I call the web effect — a reach that builds itself as friends influence each other’s choices. Over the next three Fridays, we’re going break down how each of these aspects — platforms, audience, variety — should influence what you do on a day-to-day basis.

Welcome to the social media spectacular!

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4 Tips to Simplify Your Inventory

Posted by Dean Asher on 6/22/17 5:30 AM

Inventory feels like a four-letter word for many bookstores. After all, you only get so many opportunities a year to take inventory. It needs to get done to help ensure you order enough used books to serve your students and there never seems to be an easy way to do it.

But what if there were ways to make everything in your physical inventory process go more smoothly and with fewer problems? Thankfully with these tips in mind, it's easier than you might think to make the inventory count less stressful and time-consuming for you and your staff.

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How to Capitalize on the Back-to-School Boon

Posted by Lori Reese on 6/21/17 5:30 AM

Good news at last: Back-to-school retail sales will increase 4% this year, according to eMarketer Retail. The time is ripe to set up displays, target items for markdown and put the word out. Embrace the back-to-school spirit.

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Cost Savings Through Scale

Posted by Liz Schulte on 6/20/17 5:30 AM

College stores are in a hard position. Stuck in the middle, everyone wants something. Students want lower costs. Faculty want their students to have their books in time for class. Administration wants to see the store make a profit. Making all three channels happy isn’t an easy task. Utilizing the principle of economy of scale can help you achieve that.

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The University Bookstore's Dead Book Society Gown

Posted by Kate Seat on 6/19/17 5:30 AM

For many college stores, summer means a slower pace and less foot traffic. Though it can be tough to come up with new ways to make your store stand out,  knowing what other stores have tried can be a big time-saver. That was the case for Director of Campus Stores Margo Ketels of the University of Dubuque's Babka Bookstore, who found inspiration right here on Foreword Online.

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A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words: Social Media and the Smartphone Camera

Posted by Liz Schulte on 6/16/17 5:30 AM

“Brevity is the soul of wit,” the loquacious Polonius famously spouted in Hamlet. This statement, originally fraught with irony, has been increasingly embraced by social media. Blog-like post length wasn’t uncommon on MySpace, Facebook favors shorter statuses but didn’t limit users, Twitter cut people off at 140 characters, and now pictures and videos often speak for themselves. Image dominance is evident not only in post engagement but also in the current race to win users’ smartphone cameras.

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The Amazon Effect on Your Store

Posted by Liz Schulte on 6/15/17 5:30 AM

Everyone is talking about it. The “Amazon Effect” is scattered across retail news. The most recent companies to feel the impact are Ralph Lauren and J. Crew, but large department stores like Macy’s have been feeling the effect for a while. When Amazon has the seeming ability to line up these large corporations, regardless of what they sell, and systematically watch them fall, what hope does any brick-and-mortar store have?

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Protect Yourself: Small Businesses are Prime Targets for POS Cyberattacks

Posted by Lori Reese on 6/14/17 5:30 AM

How’s this for a mind-boggling number? $2 trillion. That’s how much cybercrime is projected to cost businesses by 2019, according to Forbes.

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Share Your Thoughts: How Do You Show Customers You Care?

Posted by Lori Reese on 6/13/17 5:30 AM

Sometimes we need a sales associate’s attention, and sometimes we need to be left alone. For those in customer service, it can be tough to tell the difference, and getting it wrong can cost businesses sales and customers. As college stores seek to become campus destinations that offer memorable experiences, knowing how and when to approach a shopper is critical.

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The Aztec Empire

Posted by Lori Reese on 6/12/17 5:30 AM

“There’s always that stigma of the bookstore trying to gouge the student,” said Aztec Shops’ Campus Stores Division Director Kathy Brown. Establishing customer trust has been key to the San Diego State University college store’s success.

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