Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s bookstore reopened July 1 under a new management company, Follett Corp., as contract negotiations continue.
In the beginning of the spring semester A&M-San Antonio joined Texas A&M-Kingsville, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Texas A&M-International University in a request for proposal, receiving bids from then-partner Barnes & Noble, Follett and Texas Book Company.
Johnny Guevara, assistant director of auxiliary services, said the companies competed based on the criteria “of revenue compensation, oral presentation, as well as ability to provide the highest quality of service” and Follett won.
But despite the win, A&M-San Antonio is still negotiating a contract with plans for a meeting this week. Until then, A&M-San Antonio and Follett made a temporary agreement to maintain service and avoid a lapse in business.
“We want to expedite the process by meeting with them as soon as possible,” said Daniel Garza, A&M-San Antonio’s director of procurement and auxiliary services.
Follett is a book company based in Westchester, Illinois, that partners with pre-K-12 schools, institutions and college campus stores. They help with general merchandising, store design, tech integrations and marketing for their campus partners.
Follett manages more than 1,200 campus bookstores and 1,700 eFollett stores, an online service, which provides students from partnered schools with access to new and rentable textbooks, school supplies and gear.
A&M-San Antonio’s store is still going through a website transition. Still listed under Barnes & Noble’s website, A&M-San Antonio’s main link redirects to a basic website for textbooks that students could still use to find their school supplies while the physical bookstore was closed.
With the bookstore now reopened, textbooks and more can be physically purchased and a newly designed bookstore website can be accessed through Follett at https://www.bkstr.com/texasamsanantoniostore/home. A textbooks website can still be accessed through A&M San Antonio’s link which redirects to a general and non-brand affiliated site.
Christa Cooper, the bookstore manager, said she isn’t sure what Follett has planned for the bookstore.
“I honestly do not have any answers currently to that question, as I do not know. So we’re just kind of basically going through the process day by day as it goes on,” Cooper said.
Minus the new management partner, not much has changed for the store. Because of the negotiation of an official contract, the store’s appearance is mostly the same and all six employees from before the switch retained their jobs and positions, according to Cooper.
Senior English major Daniel Alcala says that while the look of the store has changed slightly, his thoughts on the store have not.
“It is overly priced for low-budget students,” Alcala said. “It does have a more professional appearance to it.”
And while the store has gone through a change in company, students can expect things to operate as usual,Cooper said. The change in management was prompted by student need, and the store plans to continue using that need as its driving goal.
“They’ll be paying us to build out and make an entrance that is aesthetically pleasing to the students,” Garza said. “They’ll handle construction in accordance to the agreement. This is still all up in the air though so I’m not sure yet.”
The A&M-San Antonio bookstore is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday – Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday in Room 135 of the Central Academic Building.
For more information to visit or contact the bookstore, visit https://www.bkstr.com/texasamsanantoniostore/home