Bookstore debuts new online ordering system for fall semester

By |


Students accustomed to getting a bacon-ranch sub sandwich out of the window at Sub Connection will now be getting an order of Accounting 101 with Chemistry 2 on the side.

Bennett renovation 2012.1

The new Lipscomb bookstore location on the second floor of Bennett Campus Center.

Over the summer, Sub Connection has transformed into the new location for the bookstore and the hub for a new online system for ordering textbooks starting fall 2012.

The Textbook Depot, operated by Sodexo, allows students to order and purchase their books online prior to even setting foot in the store. When they arrive at the depot, their ordered books will be packaged together and ready to go at the new location, in the lower level of the Bennett Campus Center.

The online system not only saves time for students, but it also allows them to see book rental, eBook, and used book options for each book they need to purchase for the semester, all in one place, said Sarah Case, general manager of the Lipscomb Bookstore.

“The Textbook Depot online system helps students get the most bang for the buck, making it easy to comparison shop all the purchase options and pick the one that works best for them,” said Case. “And ordering and paying online will also save time by not having to stand in line and hunt through shelves for the right books.”

In the new system, students must order their books at at least 24 hours before they would like to pick them up. Students pay for all their books online and then go to the Textbook Depot to pick up all their books for the semester in one package. No textbooks can be purchased immediately in-store.

The bookstore will also have seven computers set up in the bookstore location prior to classes beginning Aug. 20, for students who may need to order their books on-site. Then students can return the next day to pick up the books, Case said.

The in-store computer option will be offered to those who have not already ordered their books among the 600 freshmen and transfer students expected at QuestWeek, Aug. 14-18.

It’s all part of a long-term effort to move from physical books to eBooks, which are gaining ground each year in the book market, say experts.

“The industry is not quite there yet,” said Case when addressing the prospect of an all-digital-textbook campus. “But by getting used to purchasing books online, we’ll be way ahead of the game when that transition comes in a few years.”

New Look for the Bookstore

The Lipscomb bookstore has started its metamorphosis and will continue to change until Oct. 1, the scheduled completion date. “There are many exciting changes still to come,” said Wolcott Fary, general manager for Sodexo’s Lipscomb Dining Services and bookstore.

In addition, because Sodexo provides Lipscomb managers more flexibility in the type of merchandise they order, new brands like Nike, Hurley and Under Armour will be showing up in the store and more branded department-specific T-shirts, mugs and other products will be available for purchase, Case said.

For example, soon students may be able to purchase a College of Pharmacy mug or a College of Engineering T-shirt.

Also in the works is a Lipscomb sustainable mug that can be purchased for a base price and then refilled in the food court for 99 cents per refill, said James Perry, district marketing manager for Sodexo campus services.

Whereas other companies prefer to stick to products proven to sell on many campuses or those with a mass audience appeal, Sodexo feels that “whatever the campus can dream of, we are willing to give it a try,” said Perry. “Lipscomb’s leaders looked at a lot of other colleges to figure out what would work best here, and they came up with some unique ideas for the campus center.”

Bennett renovation 2012.4
Bennett renovation 2012.5
ZeBi, upstairs in the Bennett Center

New Campus Center Café

This semester will also bring the opening of ZeBi, a Panera Bread-style café, serving sandwiches, soups, baked goods and healthy options like smoothies. ZeBi will be housed on the second floor where the bookstore was previously located and  will also sell the convenience store items previously sold at Uncle Dave’s. Located next to ZeBi will be Auntie Anne’s Express pretzels.

The café will double the amount of hang-out space for students and will have a new outdoor patio area on the Elam Hall side of the center. The café will sport comfortable booth seating along with tables and couches and a stage to be used for small-scale performances, speakers or other events.

“We’re really adding a new event venue to the campus,” Perry said.

A portion of the profits at ZeBi will be put back into charity organizations by Sodexo, Perry said.

Also debuting this fall is a new information booth located at the Bison Square entrance to the Bennett Center.


Bennett renovation 2012.3 Bennett renovation 2012.2
Newcomer to the Food Court New information booth