Even after having their most successful buyback in recent memory this past winter, Director of University of North Carolina Student Stores John Gorsuch was still confident that his staff would see even more improvement this spring. But even with that optimistic outlook Gorsuch and staff were surprised by the outcome: a doubling of the number of units the store had bought back, and a nearly 80 percent increase in the amount of dollars handed out to students.
“After our improvement in the fall, we were expecting [spring buyback] to do well, but it did even better than we thought,” Gorsuch said. “That was a pleasant surprise.”
The most obvious positive result from UNC’s buyback success is the fact that the store will be able to take those books and sell them back to students when they return in August. Not only will this bring in profits for the store, but the extra inventory will also keep them from having to bring in as many books from outside of the store.
And because of their outstanding results, expectations have been raised in Chapel Hill, which Gorsuch considers to be a good thing. “We have new students that come in as freshmen, the impression you make on them in that first year carries through all four years. This buyback set a new standard for those younger students, and it should really help our sales to have students loyal to the store,” he said. “If you start them as a freshman, then build year by year, in the next few years we should have a fully educated group of students, and will hopefully have the lion’s share of their business.”
Those heightened expectations also bring in new challenges, mainly in the form of continuing to meet or exceed the lofty standard that the store has set for itself. A large part of meeting this challenge will come through their effort to educate students and make them aware of when and how they can take advantage of the school’s buyback.
One way they did this during this past buyback was by turning employees into what Gorsuch called “body billboards.” This was done by providing each worker with a bright, almost fluorescent t-shirt advertising buyback, which Gorsuch claims helped a great deal in spreading awareness among the student body.
Overall, Gorsuch and his staff could hardly be more thrilled with the way things played out. “People here in the store are really like, ‘yeah that was amazing,’” he said. “The more you’re involved with the actual textbooks, the more people seem to realize how incredible our outcome was.”