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Bookstores Serving PSU Students Are Ready for Online Competition - KOAM TV 7

Bookstores Serving PSU Students Are Ready for Online Competition

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PITTSBURG, KANSAS -

For years, college campus bookstores have been an intrinsic part of academic life, but student purchasing habits are changing with the times.

 "I would say that it's obvious that the students' preference is to purchase online. Sixty percent of all our textbooks sales annually are done in online sales," said Fawn Chesnutt, manager of PSU's Gorilla Bookstore.

And the bookstore Fawn runs wasn't going to be left in the dust. Besides establishing its own online store, the Gorilla Bookstore offers price match guarantees with online competitors like Amazon, and also allows students to rent textbooks.

"We started with 25% of our title selection as rentals. It's up to about 80%, so almost any textbook is available for a student as a rental, as long as it's not a consumable item like a workbook or access code," said Chesnutt.

Across the street, the independently owned Campus Bookstore is about to launch their own online store. It's what their in-store customers are demanding.

"Right now, 100% of all our rentals and sales are people coming in the store. And we're just listening to our customers. They've asked for (an online store) and it's something we're going to provide," said David Bastian, general manager of Campus Bookstore.

And while online competition is forcing them to adapt, the Campus Bookstore management sees it as a good thing. Their store changes with technology in order to stay in business, while college kids get a break on textbooks, which have traditionally been pretty expensive.

"Students are able to get their books cheaper now than they could 2 years ago or 3 years ago. And that's a great thing for the students," said Bastian.

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