Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers

Joe Clarkin

About Joe Clarkin

Joe Clarkin is a former copywriter at MBS. When he’s not working or studying, you’re most likely to find him reading a book or watching a game.

Recent articles by Joe Clarkin

UC Davis Stores’ Late Night Shopping Event Turns Into an On-Campus Party

Posted by Joe Clarkin on 6/26/17 5:30 AM

In an effort to drive more traffic into their store and away from online retailers during rush, the staff at UC Davis Stores was struggling to come up with ideas that would meet those goals. Last year, they tried giving away t-shirts to entice students to come visit the store, which worked in the sense that that event was popular, but ultimately came up short of expectations when the store underestimated its audience and ran out of shirts in about 10 minutes. Back to the drawing board.

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Gray's College Bookstore Puts a New Spin on "Cash or Credit?"

Posted by Joe Clarkin on 7/11/16 4:00 AM

Incentivizing students to participate in your buyback can often be a tricky thing. Maybe they think they can get a better deal elsewhere. Maybe they’re planning on giving their books to a friend. Maybe they assume their books are worth so little that it’s not even worth stopping by the buyback counter. Finding ways to appeal to them can be hard with all these forces outside of a store’s control, especially since most stores are dependent on a robust buyback in order to make sure their shelves are stocked with the right titles the following term.

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Flyer Spirit Reopens Right Next Door

Posted by Joe Clarkin on 6/20/16 4:00 AM

When the Flyer Spirit Store at the University of Dayton decided it was time to open up a new space, they didn’t have to look far.

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6 Dream Upgrades for Modern College Stores

Posted by Joe Clarkin on 6/6/16 4:00 AM

Have you ever thought about what you'd include in your store if you could buy and install whatever you'd like? Maybe you'd start with a security upgrade, or perhaps you'd want a brand new POS - it's up to you! If you haven't, check out this list and see if there's anything you might want to add to that wish list of yours. Check out our list

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Social Scavenger Hunt

Posted by Joe Clarkin on 5/31/16 10:24 AM

Creating fun ways for students to interact with your store early on in their college experience is crucial to your long-term success. If you can establish a positive relationship from the jump, then you very well may have earned a loyal customer for the next four years, if not even further.

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Boost Return Business through Customer Loyalty Month

Posted by Joe Clarkin on 4/1/16 11:01 AM

In the college bookstore, loyalty doesn’t have to be an intangible concept that you can’t quite quantify. For a store like yours, there are few, if any, things more valuable than repeat customers who show a consistent desire to come back to you first, ahead of your competitors. Whatever their reason is – be it your wider selection, friendly service staff, etc. – your store is in a position to reward your customers for their continued loyalty, and you can dole out those rewards in a number of ways.

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Ashland University Bookstore Looks Forward to Celebrating Another Mother - Daughter Tea

Posted by Joe Clarkin on 3/20/16 11:00 PM

A few years ago, Ashland University Bookstore Director Terri Hudson wanted to put something together that would involve the people in her local community beyond the school’s north-central Ohio campus. What she came up with was something called the American Girl Club, which would typically host teas for mothers and daughters around Valentine’s Day or Christmas.

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6 Tools Your College Store Absolutely Needs to Use [Download]

Posted by Joe Clarkin on 3/11/16 10:05 AM

Your store needs to be innovative, diligent in reaching out to customers and as keen at studying the market as your competitors if you want to thrive.

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4 Ways to Combat Showrooming in Your Store

Posted by Joe Clarkin on 2/21/16 10:00 PM

Showrooming isn’t going anywhere. It’s become a staple of the in-person shopping experience, and retail stores across the country are working hard to prevent their customers from walking in their doors, checking out their products, and leaving before purchasing that same product online.

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Strengthening the Relationship Between Your Store and Your Faculty

Posted by Joe Clarkin on 1/19/16 10:00 PM

The symbiotic relationship between a store and its school’s faculty is extremely important. You are reliant on one another to get things done, and in order to have all of your course materials ready for your students at the beginning of each term, you have to work together. But how faculty views the store may differ from how the store views itself, and those discrepancies could keep you from maintaining as efficient a relationship as you might like.

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