ABAC Bookstore Prepares for Start of Classes
August 7, 2014
Activity in the bookstore at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College is about to pick up as students get ready for the start of classes on Aug. 13. Bookstore Manager Tracy Dyal is ready for the rush.
“We are excited about the start of fall term and will be ready to assist students with whatever they need,” said Dyal. “We can’t wait to see what everyone thinks of the store.”
A new aspect to the bookstore this year is an electronics section that includes Apple products and Beats by Dr. Dre headphones. Dyal met with Vice President for Technology and Chief Information Officer Robert Gerhart to get an idea of what technological trends students are following.
“Last year we sold a few televisions, and that went well so we are now trying to bring in more products students can typically only get elsewhere while at the same time trying to bring in new products as well,” said Dyal.
That applies to the abundance of other merchandise the ABAC Bookstore carries. Aside from the electronics and textbooks, there is ABAC-specific gear, clothes, college supplies, food and beverages, room accents, and more that students can purchase.
“We place orders all the time for new merchandise and are constantly getting new things,” said Dyal. “We go to trade shows and get to see all the new items and decide if we want them to be a part of our store. Some of the items I ordered four months ago are just coming in so it is really fun to see all the new products first-hand.”
Dyal and her staff have already seen quite a few on-line orders. Last year bookstore personnel filled 406 web orders, and Dyal hopes to surpass that number this year.
ABAC students also have the option to rent their books instead of buying them. The bookstore rented 1,300 units last fall. Dyal is presently working on a rental list to get the prices down, purchasing books from various sources, and working with companies on price comparisons.
“Although the rental route is a huge hit, students typically don’t know that we offer that option,” said Dyal. “We can pull books right from the shelves for immediate assistance.”
With the upcoming influx in business, Dyal has hired additional temporary employees. She realizes that students have many places they can shop but hopes they visit the on-campus bookstore in the J. Lamar Branch Student Center because all proceeds go directly back to the college.
“Probably the biggest piece of information to know is that this bookstore is institutionally-owned,” said Dyal. “Any revenue that is generated here goes right back into the college, not to second-hand parties such as Amazon.”