Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers



Spotlight University of Pittsburgh Book Store: GM That Drives Relevance

Posted by Lori Reese on 1/14/20 7:00 AM

The University of Pittsburgh Book Store’s Meagan Sotirokos knows how to find general merchandise that sells. She manages Maggie & Stella’s Cards & Gifts, the popular standalone giftshop adjacent to the main bookstore, University Store on Fifth. Ms. Sotirokos has developed strategies that dovetail with millennial and Gen Z shopping habits. An eclectic range of items adorns the shelves: colorful low-cost scrunchies, Lily Pulitzer® handbags, Corkcicle® cooler leather backpacks in seafoam green and more. Her curatorial buying approach helps Maggie & Stella’s deliver the enhanced retail experience customers increasingly expect from brick-and-mortar stores.

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Spotlight Carnegie Mellon University Store: Maximize Campus Relevance With Tech Sales

Posted by Lori Reese on 12/9/19 8:00 AM

Student tech sales have revenue potential for college stores, especially on campuses where technology is deeply infused with the school’s mission. We sat down with Jake Swanson, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) University Store’s technology store manager, to talk about how his store competes with off-campus retailers.

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Spotlight Navarro College: Hosting Spectacular Holiday Events

Posted by Lori Reese on 12/4/19 8:00 AM

Navarro Community College Bookstore Director, Terri Mitchell, knows how to host a successful campus event. Her bookstore organizes celebrations that promote the school, raise scholarship funds, bring prospective students to campus and foster deep ties with the college’s Texas community. This year, she co-led a talk about campus store events at the MEGA conference in Reno, Nevada, called “Food for Thought: What is your store worth to your campus and community?” It focused on creative ways to demonstrate your store’s value. Ms. Mitchell and her co-leader earned a standing ovation.

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Spotlight: How GVSU Maximizes Summer Sales

Posted by Lori Reese on 7/22/19 7:00 AM

For GVSU Laker Store, maximizing summer sales starts with strategy. The managers don’t waste resources trying to lure non-students onto campus. Instead, they target online sales, tour groups and newcomers visiting for orientation. Like other colleges, Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, quiets down after graduation in May. But that doesn’t stop the Laker Store from driving business with creative promotions throughout the summer months, according to the school’s Auxiliary Services Marketing Manager, Liza Guikema. Recently, Foreword Online sat down with Guikema to find out how the Laker Store succeeds with summertime efforts.

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Spotlight Lilli Brooks: MBS Sourcing and You

Posted by Lori Reese on 11/21/18 5:30 AM

MBS Corporate Marketing Representative, Lilli Brooks, has exceptional knowledge of the collegiate retail industry. She travels the country, working with store managers and directors to help them improve efficiencies, sales and revenues. Because Lilli has observed the trend in marketplace sourcing close-up in a variety of contexts, she has in-depth understanding of its allure, its inconveniences and its dangers. We sat down to talk to her about how MBS’s new solution SimpleSource will allow even the most time-strapped textbook managers to get into the sourcing game, while eliminating the dangers.

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Spotlight VP Human Resources Jerome Rader: Hiring for Rush

Posted by Lori Reese on 8/27/18 5:30 AM

Finding excellent seasonal employees is one of the greatest challenges college stores face. Bookstore jobs require intelligence, commitment and solid customer service skills. What’s the best way to attract good workers?

Each year MBS hires more than 500 temporary employees for rush. We sat down with MBS Vice President of Human Resources Jerome Rader to discuss recruiting tips and tricks — as well as potential red flags in the hiring process. With 27 years of MBS HR experience, Rader offers a wealth of expertise for college retailers.

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Spotlight: Victor Hoffman Talks MBS Arc

Posted by Lori Reese on 7/5/18 5:30 AM

The MBS Systems Advanced Retail Center, Arc, provides a single sign-on portal to a suite of cloud-based applications. The technology’s functionality drew praise at CAMEX and sparked intense interest among college store managers and directors. Here, we talk to MBS Systems Sales Consultant Victor Hoffman about how Arc can increase productivity and elevate the bottom line.

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Spotlight: David Ritz — How Bookstores Stay Viable

Posted by Liz Schulte on 6/7/18 5:30 AM

We had the pleasure of sitting down in Oklahoma with Territory Manager David Ritz to discuss his long career in the college bookstore industry and how he thinks college retailers can adapt to the changing course materials distribution environment.

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Spotlight Kim Miner: Keeping the College Store’s Voice at the Table

Posted by Lori Reese on 5/15/18 5:30 AM

With over 13 years in the course materials industry, MBS sales consultant Kim Miner has amassed an abundance of wisdom. We sat down with her to discuss the rapidly-changing industry — inclusive access, OER, hybrid store solutions and the future of digital. We also talked about why college store managers must ensure their voice is heard on campus.

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Spotlight: Patrick Cervenik It’s All Retail

Posted by Liz Schulte on 5/2/18 5:30 AM

MBS Systems Sales Consultant, Patrick Cervenik sat down with us to discuss the changes happening in the retail industry, and how college stores can stay adaptable to the transitioning environment.

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