Textbook Brokers becomes new operator of GHC bookstores

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Ashley Hall

The walls and shelves of the on-campus bookstores are being emptied to prepare for the bookstore operator transfer.

Ashley Hall, Managing Editor

A contract between GHC and Textbook Brokers was signed on Feb. 3, officially making Textbook Brokers the new operator of GHC’s bookstores. The first official day of the new operator will be April 1.

The transition from the current operator, Follett, will take place between March 28 and March 31. The on-campus bookstores will be closed during this period to allow for movement of inventory and installation of new equipment. The online bookstore will still be live under Textbook Brokers so students can purchase any necessary materials.

Rumors of the GHC bookstore shutting its doors have circulated through the halls of the college, but students can rest easy knowing it will only be temporary.

“There will be a slight interruption [in bookstore operations],” GHC Auxiliary Facilities Manager Mathews said, “but the big picture… the physical location is still going to be there and we’re still going to be operating it.”

Students on the Cartersville and Rome campuses may have noticed that there are sales on certain items and the walls and shelves are becoming barren.

“We’re just trying to move as much inventory out of the stores as we can so that they have room to bring their things in,” Cartersville bookstore manager Julie Binkley said.

Current bookstore employees that are employed under Follett will transition over to Textbook Brokers and remain at the GHC bookstores.

Certain items such as demo technology, GHC logoed merchandise and gift items are on sale to help with movement of inventory for the bookstore operator transition. (Photo by Ashley Hall)

“I’ve certainly enjoyed working with Georgia Highlands and I will miss working with the company (Follett),” Binkley said. “I think the new company will do a great job as well.”

Changes in the way the GHC bookstore is operated are coming to students, such as cheaper prices and faster service.

“We put students first in every decision whether that’s the merchandise selection, the pricing, the model,” Textbook Brokers representative Nick Sherrod said. “Compared to past prices you’ve seen, they will be extremely cheaper.” 

The cheaper prices apply to textbooks of any condition: new, used, rental and digital. 

The rental pricing itself will be updated to reflect the market price of textbooks to give students the best deals currently available.

“No longer will you see a $150 rental book that’s selling for $10 on Amazon,” Sherrod said. “The pricing that you will see for the rental prices – this goes for used and new – all the pricing will be in line with the entire marketplace.”

Sherrod said that Textbook Brokers offers free shipping for online orders over $25 and the average rental price for textbooks will be less than $40.

The on-campus bookstores will be implemented with a concierge counter service that has students, “in and out of the store in five minutes or less,” according to Sherrod. 

Bookstore staff will look up students’ required course materials using their student ID number and bring all the materials to the students for them. A similar service will be available for the online bookstore in the form of live chat.

Textbook Brokers will also be bringing in new lines of branded, GHC logoed merchandise. Champion, Nike, Legacy and League brands were among the named brands being brought to the GHC bookstore. The operator is also integrated with Best Buy, offering students over 170,000 items.

“I think we’ll probably get a pretty good amount of fresh, new merchandise when Textbook Brokers takes over,” Mathews said. There will be new stock when Textbook Brokers initially takes over, but most of it will not be available until the fall 2022 semester due to supply chain complications that are still affecting the world due to Covid-19. 

“It should be a pretty seamless transition,” Binkley said.