Bookstore management to transition over spring break to limit disruption


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University’s partnership with Barnes & Noble College starts soon

Spring break is considered to be a time to refresh, and that’s the case this year for the Notre Dame bookstores. The stores will be closed over spring break, March 5-13, so management can smoothly transfer from Follett to Barnes & Noble College (BNC). The dates were chosen, in part, to cause students and faculty as little disruption as possible. 

(Click for what to expect with business operations during the management transition.)

Change comes early

The change in bookstore management — including course materials, retail and online operations — was announced last year and had been planned for this July. However, Notre Dame, Follett and BNC agreed to the earlier date. 

“With several campus initiatives planned for the coming months, including two Commencements (2022 and 2020), Reunion, the 50th anniversary of undergraduate women and Title IX and the Billy Joel concert, having BNC management well-established at the bookstores will enhance the student, faculty and guest experiences, as well as allow for plenty of preparation leading into the fall 2022 term,” said Micki Kidder, vice president for University Enterprises and Events.

BNC operates more than 770 campus bookstores and school-branded e-commerce sites, serving more than 6 million college students and faculty nationwide.

"The vision for the bookstore is to create best-in-class retail destinations that the Notre Dame community will want to visit frequently to see what's new and different.  Spring break is the start of turning this vision into reality," Brian Stark, senior vice president of BNC said.

Exciting changes on the horizon 

The new partnership will provide Notre Dame faculty and academic leadership access to BNC’s Adoption and Insights Portal, which will allow them to easily research and choose affordable course materials. Students will experience an easier, more personalized approach to  purchasing course materials. 

(Stay tuned for more information about textbook and course material orders for summer and fall.)

Shoppers will recognize familiar faces at the bookstore, as BNC extended job offers to all existing employees and most will transition with the partnership. 

“Our bookstore colleagues are deeply valued members of the Notre Dame family and bring incredible knowledge of the bookstore operations,” said Kidder. 

Two largest stores to reopen first

Notre Dame operates five bookstore retail properties and an online order fulfillment center.

The two largest stores are the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore on campus and the Hammes Bookstore and Cafe at Eddy Street, which will close Friday, March 4, and Saturday, March 5, respectively. Both will reopen Monday, March 14, under BNC management.

Between April and July, the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore will be renovated one section at a time to cause as little disruption as possible for shoppers. A new cafe experience, offering coffee, pastries and sandwiches, will open in the spring.

At the Hammes Bookstore and Cafe at Eddy Street, shoppers will notice some cosmetic changes to the store come August. Additional renovations will occur in spring of 2023. Other than being temporarily closed between Sunday, March 6, to Sunday, March 13, the Starbucks inside the Eddy Street location will be unaffected by the change in store management.

Enhanced shopping experience coming

Kidder believes shoppers will enjoy an enhanced in-person and online shopping experience, due in part to BNC’s recent joint venture with licensed sports merchandise leaders Fanatics and Lids. 

From a merchandising perspective, BNC is going to offer a wider variety of brands better known to students, along with new sustainable brands and products. Furthermore, the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore will feature a new section dedicated to books written by our very own faculty.  

“We are excited about the future products that will be offered in the stores, but the University and BNC are not immune to the current supply chain challenges affecting most retailers across the country. We are grateful for the campus community’s patience as we curate an exciting and more diversified product assortment,” she said.

The University is planning a grand reopening of the newly refreshed store for the fall academic semester.  

Things to know about the partnership transition:
  • Apple products can be purchased through BNC when the stores reopen on Monday, March 14.
  • Departmental/FOAPAL, student and Domer Dollar transactions will be unavailable Tuesday, March 1, through Sunday, March 13. 
  • There is no clearance sale event planned.
  • The Tech Hub inside the campus bookstore will be closed during spring break, March 5-13.
  • Textbooks and course materials can only be purchased online between March 1 and March 13. Beginning March 14, these items will be available for pickup or shipped.
  • Gift cards purchased prior to Friday, March 4 will be accepted for in-store purchases only. 
  • Moving forward, campus departments will receive a 20 percent discount.
  • Faculty and staff will continue to receive a 20 percent discount.