Will also open HPU venue at Aloha Tower Marketplace
Those waiting to see what sort of new retail energy Hawai‘i Pacific University might bring to the Aloha Tower Marketplace development got their first glimpse when university leaders announced in mid-July the selection of Barnes & Noble College to run not just its campus bookstores, but a new venue in one of the marketplace's most visible locations.
At press time, the college division of the national bookseller was scheduled to take over Downtown and Hawaii Loa campus and Military Campus Programs bookstore operations on Aug. 1, and then begin working toward making the Aloha Tower Marketplace location a reality. An opening date for the store, sometime in the 2013-14 school year, is expected to be announced in coming weeks.
"We are pleased to have selected Barnes & Noble College and are particularly excited about what this will mean for our Aloha Tower project," said Geoffrey Bannister, president of HPU. "Its vast experience with other universities, including those in urban settings, will allow us to serve more effectively our campuses and the downtown community more broadly."
A committee of students, faculty and staff selected Barnes & Noble through a competitive bid process that attracted other well-known retailers. Barnes & Noble College stood out for what it might provide for students and faculty, as well as local customers and island visitors. While Barnes & Noble College operates more than 700 campus stores nationwide, this will be its first bookstore in Hawai‘i.
Its Aloha Tower presence will be located on the first floor, in a 7,200-square-foot space previously occupied by Pipe Dreams Surf Company and facing Ala Moana Boulevard/Nimitz Highway. The store is intended to be a hybrid, offering the best of the traditional Barnes & Noble experience along with merchandise both for college customers and tourists.
Barnes & Noble College will provide the marketplace's largest selection of course materials in a variety of cost-saving formats, now considered standard for college customers: rental, used, digital and new. Faculty will also have access to a groundbreaking online community, www.FacultyEnlight.com, a streamlined textbook adoption platform that combines advanced search capabilities with detailed information on course material formats, pricing and reviews by other faculty.
The HPU community of alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends will enjoy campus bookstores that reflect the HPU brand, including a selection of Sea Warrior school spirit apparel, supplies and gifts for friends and family. HPU has 37,000 alumni, about 14,000 of whom live and work in Hawai‘i.
In addition to the campus and Aloha Tower Marketplace bookstores, Barnes & Noble College will manage the university's bookstore website, delivering an innovative customized shopping experience and giving students, faculty and alumni the choice and convenience to shop in-store or online for their course materials.
Students will also have access to Barnes & Noble College's textbook rental program, which can save students an average of 50 percent off the price of a new book. HPU students will have the choice to rent a new or used textbook, with the option to purchase their rental at the end of the agreement. HPU students will also gain access to the largest digital library in the industry, with more than 3 million titles.
"We're very excited to have formed our first partnership in the beautiful state of Hawai‘i with Hawai‘i Pacific University," said Max J. Roberts, president & CEO of Barnes & Noble College. "We're looking forward to working with the university community to offer dynamic campus stores, focused on delivering a retail and digital learning experience that complements this renowned school and supports HPU students, faculty, staff and alumni."
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