Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers

The More Things Change: How College Retail Hasn't Changed, Even When It Has

Posted by Dean Asher on 11/23/16 12:19 PM

The college retail industry has changed significantly in the last few years. With the rise in big-box online retailers and shifts in technology, everything from marketing and advertising to inventory management and the title procurement process has evolved over the past decade. But that doesn't mean everything is different.

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4 Tips For Talking to Super Busy People

Posted by Dean Asher on 9/23/16 10:08 AM

We've all been there. We need to get in front of the CFO of the college, or a busy faculty department head, or another busy administrator who never seems to have the time to meet. It takes forever to even get ahold of them, you might have to reschedule countless times before you finally get in their office, and when you're finally there, giving your presentation or making your case to someone so busy can be difficult or downright intimidating.

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What Hammocks and Super Soakers Teach Us About the Bookstore Industry

Posted by Rob Heller on 9/20/16 5:00 AM

Sure, I’ll admit I was drifting a little bit. Stretched out in the hammock, enjoying the last of those sweet summer rays. Jimmy Buffett was on the speakers. I could almost feel those gentle, coconut trade winds swaying my swing — back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

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5 Signs Your Employees Are Overworked

Posted by Kate Seat on 9/9/16 7:30 AM

You've just completed (or have almost completed) one of the busiest times you'll face all year. Chances are, it was more than a little stressful for you and your staff. While being overwhelmed at a time like rush or buyback is to be expected, employees who demonstrate certain behaviors when it isn't really busy may be letting you know that they're feeling too much pressure. To keep the good ones around, keep an eye out for the following tell-tale clues. 

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Want a More Productive Staff? Don't Bribe Them, Order Delivery

Posted by Dean Asher on 9/2/16 5:00 AM

If you've worked in retail or business long enough, you've probably seen and tried nearly every trick to promote productivity. Cash incentives are popular, with managers dangling gift cards, movie tickets or even extra vacation time in an attempt to motivate their employees. But one study has found that none of these things can light a fire under your staff like a little pepperoni and cheese.

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4 Easy Ways to Show Your Employees You Appreciate Them

Posted by Kate Seat on 8/26/16 7:30 AM

If you have great employees, you definitely want to keep them. You could devise an elaborate retention program with giveaways and prizes based on specific achievement levels — but you really don't have to. Sometimes, simply letting them know that you appreciate their hard work can be all it takes. 

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After Rush Is Over, Do These Five Things

Posted by Kate Seat on 8/12/16 8:16 AM

Once the last student in line has purchased their books and supplies for the new semester, investing the time for a little bit of assessment and proactive planning now can save you a lot of effort down the road.

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How to Tell if You're a Seagull Manager

Posted by Kate Seat on 7/8/16 8:09 AM

If you find yourself frequently reacting to situations in your store in panic mode, you might have a seagull manager tendency. The good news is that while most of us may have our moments occasionally, it's rare for anyone to only operate in that mode — and it's easy to kick the seagull habit and learn to work more proactively with your employees.

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Arc: Flexibility that Promotes Productivity [Video]

Posted by Dean Asher on 7/6/16 5:00 AM

With our roots running deep in the textbook business, MBS strives to make life in the hectic world of college retail easier for its partner stores. That goal was a guiding principle behind Arc, our latest innovation that puts all of your retail management tools in one single-portal access point. In this video, see what UCM Store Director Charlie Rutt had to say about the time savings and flexibility Arc will present for his store.

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The 4-Step Creative Process to Move Away from the Obvious and Towards Innovation

Posted by Wendy Gish on 3/23/16 4:56 AM

“We’re never going to survive unless we get a little bit crazy”

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