The Stanford Bookstore switched the location of books and apparel before the start of fall quarter as part of a plan to refresh the store’s space and selection, according to Director of Stores Jeff Deutsch, who is responsible for overseeing all University shops. Most books are now located on the upper floor while apparel is on the ground floor. The location of textbooks and school supplies on the mezzanine and lower floor, respectively, remains unchanged.
Deutsch wrote in an email to The Daily that the “recent remodel” of the bookstore also involved installing wall-unit bookshelves, re-merchandising the computer section and renovating the cafe.
“In considering the space for books, we wanted to give the department a dedicated space with ample seating adjacent to our cafe while not reducing our title count,” Deutsch said. “The upper level was perfectly suited for this.”
According to Deutsch, merchandise sales have not changed as a result of this decision. Though he would not disclose specific numbers, he said that revenues “continue to be robust” for both books and apparel, particularly during the first few weeks of the quarter. Sales have been historically strong during this time period due to textbook purchases and events like New Student Orientation and Homecoming Weekend.
“We are always looking for new ways to evolve, and are proud that we were able to offer the most robust selection of textbook options at the beginning of fall quarter,” Deutsch said, adding that opportunities to rent textbooks or acquire digital copies continue to expand.
Several shelves stocked with the most popular book categories are still located on the ground floor, including shelves of new releases, bestsellers and works by faculty authors.
“We take a lot of pride in our faculty author selection and will always ensure a prominent place for these works,” Deutsch said.
A change of this scale is not new to the bookstore, as floor switches have been made in the past at the discretion of bookstore management.
Though the location of items on the ground and upper floor may not be permanent, Deutsch does not anticipate any change in textbook or school supply locations in the future.
“At this point we are not considering it, as we believe the mezzanine and lower floor lend themselves nicely to the seasonal nature of those businesses,” Deutsch said.
Store management consulted with faculty, alumni and students before making the change, and the small amount of feedback received so far has been positive, according to Deutsch.
“This wasn’t done to generate additional sales but to serve the community,” Deutsch said.
It’s too soon to tell whether or not the changes will affect long-term profits, and Deutsch said so far revenue has not changed considerably for either books or apparel.
Bookstore Director Janet Gawley and Bookstore Marketing Director Michele Carson were both on vacation and unavailable for comment.