The Loper bookstore is transformed during the summer into a liquor store
By ALEX HAMMEKE
Last spring, Antelope Bookstore had clothes and textbooks that filled half the store. Now the bookstore offers a wider selection of Loper gear, and manuals can be purchased online and shipped directly to the new Loper Spirit store.
Len Fangmeyer, manager of the bookstore since 1999, said student influence is everywhere in the store.
“Barnes and Noble had their way of doing business and their way of shopping, it was all done at the corporate level.” Fangmeyer said. “We didn’t really have a say.”
For the past few years, Barnes and Noble College was the operator of The Antelope Bookstore, where Fangmeyer said he found out what clothes they were selling when they opened the box.
“We try to work with some local suppliers, and local suppliers are very good at getting us good prices on certain items,” Fangmeyer said. “You can still get name brands from local vendors. Obviously by working with a Champion or an Under Armour, we can negotiate with them the prices and the purchasing power.
Working with these local vendors helps reduce shipping costs and lowers the cost of clothing in the Spirit Shop. For example, generic UNK t-shirts sold at Barnes and Noble last year would cost between $18 and $20. In the Spirit Shop, you can buy two generic t-shirts for $25.
Local influence has also contributed to the expansion of certain merchandise selections. Barnes and Noble has licensed the sale of two types of hats. In the Spirit Shop, there is a whole section of hats, visors and bucket hats.
For textbook sales, UNK has partnered with Akademos to handle textbook sales. Seventy percent of the student population purchase textbooks and use the payment option on MyBlue.
Students can have the textbook the first day of class and pay for the textbook later.
It’s an option that Fangmeyer advocated during his tenure as bookstore manager.
“It’s a huge thing for student success and persistence,” Fangmeyer said. “Too many times, students were waiting for that paycheck, and they were two or three weeks in school without a book. They felt behind, and I think that might have put some of them off.
Students can expect to see new offers, promotions, holiday-related apparel, and many more new items in the new school year. This all stems from the new local control of the Spirit Shop.