The contract begins with the start of fiscal year 2020 on July 1. The new contract was awarded after a Request for Proposals was issued last November. The proposals were evaluated by a committee with representation from across the campus using performance, experience/reliability and financial criteria, said Dr. Debbie Below, vice president for enrollment management and student success.
The committee examined such areas as course materials, customer service, online sales and overall retail operations, experience in the college and university bookstore marketplace, and commission, annual incentives, capital investment and discounts.
Proposals were received from Barnes & Noble College, Follett Higher Education Group, Inc. and BBA Solutions, Below said.
“Follett is committed to a cooperative partnership with Southeast,” she said.
Follett’s proposal included the largest proposed capital investment into the bookstore on the first floor of the University Center and at a second location at an athletic venue. Follett proposed the highest commission on sales and included annual textbook and athletic scholarships, each valued at $5,000.
Southeast has contracted with Follett to operate Southeast Bookstore for the past six years. The original five-year contract with Follett ended June 30, 2018, and the University opted to extend the contract for fiscal 2019. Prior to Southeast’s partnership with Follett, the bookstore operated as an in-house auxiliary enterprise.