Over the summer, Follett took over the contract for the Barnes and Noble bookstore in the Campus Center. A few large sales followed as the store sought to get rid of old product such as clothing before the transition took place.
Emaz Assadi is a Health Informatics graduate student who saw a hiring ad for the bookstore in August and was interested in getting involved.
“I had clocked out of work; we were walking out together from working at the Campus Center and I saw the QR code. I saw they paid fifteen dollars an hour. I applied and saw they were paid weekly, that was really eye-catching,” Assadi said.
During Bridge Week and the first few days of classes, many students came in to buy and rent books. Some students, however, reported that their textbooks had been backordered for a few weeks after classes started.
“It was a lot of rush for the first couple of days and a lot of students were coming in. A lot of common textbooks were being bought. The first day of classes was when I started to work and again it was busy, so I was glad to have been hired with three other people,” Assadi said.
After the first week of classes, Assadi noticed a drop off in students and staff coming into the bookstore.
“I did notice in my two weeks that the number of students buying and coming in had dropped. Even the people coming in casually and looking around, those customers had dropped,” Assadi said.
Barnes and Noble also had a contract with Starbucks, which was replaced with the IUPUI Cafe once Follett took over. The IUPUI Cafe is not an official Starbucks but serves many of their drinks. However, they still do not accept Starbucks gift cards.
The IUPUI Cafe opened on Sept. 28.
Molli Loftus is the Senior Marketing Manager and is excited about the IUPUI Cafe.
“I have been working for Chartwells since April. Chartwells took over exclusively for most of the dining on the IUPUI Campus. This was the only location that was not run by us,” Loftus said.
She made it clear the IUPUI Cafe wanted to be its own thing on campus and make a name for itself.
“Here at the IUPUI Cafe, we want to give the students at IUPUI the best possible service. We also want to be different than the Barnes and Noble Cafe by serving fall drinks and different food options. Barnes and Noble Cafe did not have as many food options or a fully stocked market. We have drinks, snacks, and candy. We are also looking at hosting different events,” Loftus said.
The IUPUI Cafe had a grand opening event on Oct. 21 to reach out to students.
“This space will host open mic nights, coffee on campus, and a teaching kitchen,” Loftus said.
The Follet Bookstore and the IUPUI Cafe are located on the first floor of the IUPUI Campus Center.
Avi Sarkar is a sophomore at IUPUI, sports reporter, and copy editor for The Campus Citizen.