Tulane bookstore restocks and revamps

Tulane+bookstore+restocks+and+revamps

In January 2016, the Tulane University Bookstore will serve up more than school supplies. With locally inspired murals and fresh products, the store aims to make walking through their doors an experience, not a chore.

Though the bookstore, which is located on the first floor of the Lavin-Bernick Center, will not be physically expanding its current layout, there are numerous changes taking place for the business’s interior design. The project began on Nov. 9 and is expected to be completed by the second week of December.

For Tulane University Bookstore manager Larry Jones, who has seen the Barnes and Nobles affiliated store through harsh times, including the 2006 hurricane, it was due time for an upgrade.

“It’s been a couple years since we’ve made major changes to the store, but now we’re really going after, in conjunction with Tulane, giving it a New Orleans-type feel, a Tulane-type feel,” Jones said. “We try to make sure that we’re in step with what students want and what they need.”

To that end, beyond the fresh light blue paint and graphical additions soon to replace the once beige walls, Barnes & Noble plans to offer new amenities for shoppers of all ages.

The Glossary, a new cosmetic station next to the windows overlooking Pocket Park, will sell beauty and feminine care products. Another addition is the Trend Zone, a section of the store dedicated to providing customers the latest fashion merchandise or food items.

Sophomore Jamie Palefsky thinks the new selection will benefit the store.

“I think it’s great the bookstore is focusing on selling a greater variety of products, like cosmetics, compared to before,” Palefsky said. “A Tulane student can find just about anything there now.”

564d414f1848a.image

William Potts | Photography Editor

Jones and his team understand one of the bookstore’s chief responsibilities is serving the Tulane student body’s textbook needs. According to Jones, some customers struggled to navigate the previous layout of the second floor where the course books are sold. Limited assistance was available for students with questions or who needed help finding books. The upstairs overhaul aimed to address this problem.

When students return to campus in the spring semester, they will experience a different book-buying process. The textbook rows will be closed off by a line of counters, each with an employee to retrieve books for customers.

“Counter service will streamline the entire process, there’s no more walking up and down all these isles,” Jones said. “This way we can ensure you are getting the materials you need and address any problems right at the counter. You are taken care of.”

In the area before the textbook counters, store designers are adding upholstered furniture and chairs, to attract visitors to sit and relax while in the store.

The Tulane- and New Orleans-inspired graphics, scattered throughout the store’s open spaces, will be the most noticeable new feature for visitors. but there are many other aesthetic appeals that Barnes & Noble hopes will serve the campus interests.

While Jones is excited, he knows these renovations have been long overdue.

“Tulane is a world class university; the bookstore should reflect that,” Jones said.