YSU to Build New Bookstore Barnes & Noble Manages

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Now that Barnes & Noble College has been signed to manage the Youngstown State University bookstore, plans are underway to build a new standalone bookstore on campus along Fifth Avenue that would open a year hence.

The new university bookstore would also have a Starbucks coffee shop.

After YSU President Jim Tressel and Chris Peterson, vice president for stores of Barnes & Noble College mentioned the standalone bookstore, Tressel confirmed that building the new store is imminent and it should open for the fall semester of 2017.

“Not all the details are in place,” Tressel said in his remarks, but seemed confident that a new bookstore managed by Barnes & Noble is a sure thing.

Tressel, Peterson and the vice president of YSU student government, Gabriella Gessler, formally announced the “partnership” between YSU and the subsidiary of Barnes & Noble Booksellers Monday in the university bookstore in Kilcawley Center.

A “VIP event and open house” will be held Aug. 24 at the bookstore to celebration its new management, Tressel announced.

In a prepared statement, the YSU vice president for operations and finance, Neal McNally, noted Barnes & Noble was chosen following a national search that involved students, faculty and staff.

The search was spurred by “the governor’s taskforce on affordability and efficiency in higher education,” the president of YSU noted.

With Barnes & Noble College managing the bookstore, four of the seven the staff remain, Peterson said. One retired and two chose reassignment to other positions in the university administration.

Four companies responded to YSU’s invitation for bids — RFPs or requests for proposal – to manage the bookstore, Tressel said, and Barnes & Noble College was the unanimous choice.

Heather White is the store manager, reporting to John Chaump, regional manager for 17 college and universities across northern Ohio including Kent State University (both main and satellite campuses), University of Akron, Walsh University, Oberlin College, the University of Toledo, Wright State University and the University of Toledo.

With the addition of YSU, Barnes & Noble College manages the bookstores of 751 colleges and universities across the United States, Peterson said.

Barnes & Noble managing the bookstore will have little, if any, effect on the prices students pay for their textbooks, Peterson said, but those who are Barnes & Noble members (annual fee $25) will receive a 10% reduction on the prices of YSU attire, mugs, cups, steins, and other YSU souvenirs and memorabilia, whether students, alumni or visitors.

Barnes & Noble has an internship program for students interested in managing one of its bookstores, Peterson announced, and any YSU student employed at the bookstore is eligible to participate.

All students who worked at the bookstore before Barnes & Noble assumed its management were retained if they chose to stay on.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.