Tarleton State University takes ownership of campus bookstore

As of July 1, 2021, the Texans Campus Store is now owned and operated by Tarleton State University. This opens up a variety of opportunities for Tarleton to bring in a new larger collection of goods and merchandise.

“The bookstore will now be owned and operated by Tarleton State University. It’ll no longer be under lease and I just think that is going to be better for the students, faculty and staff because we’re going to be part of the family,” Tarleton Bookstore Manager, Cliff Hoy said. “I think it gives us an opportunity to better serve the students, better serve the Tarleton community [and] that’s what we’re looking to do.”

The new merchandise ranges from a variety of brands like Nike to small businesses like TeamRLN who currently has Tarleton earrings available in the bookstore.

“We’ve got a ton of Nike stuff, we went strong with Nike [given] the affiliation with athletics and everything. [We] also brought in a lot of Champion goods and several other vendors [like] Columbia,” Hoy said.

With the new ownership also comes a facelift for the bookstore. The store has new Tarleton imagery and new displays currently set up in the windows and across the store.

Hoy explained that the imagery for the new store was selected in order to depict Tarleton history, culture and student life.  The store staff also wanted a cleaner and more organized storefront which led to the school supplies being moved into the downstairs area of the bookstore.

Under new management, the store is also expecting to give great customer service. This service includes now taking suggestions for the types of products that Tarleton students want to see, including products from small businesses around the area.

Students can expect “great service, lots of new and exciting products and hopefully a wide variety [of merchandise]. We will be taking suggestions on what [students] would like us to carry. Hopefully we can carry some [merchandise] for a lot of the clubs and stuff like that,” Hoy said.

The Tarleton bookstore is also implementing a new system for students to order their books.

“We’re going to do what they call counter service, Susan calls it concierge service, where we will be getting the students books for them. We think it will be a little faster for them and it’ll probably help out the ones that aren’t sure exactly what they’re needing,” Hoy said.

Along with the new physical look the Tarleton Bookstore also got a webstore makeover. The new website can be found at: https://bookstore.tarleton.edu/home.

“[Students] can [order books] a couple different ways. You can either just come in and give us your class list and we’ll go and actually pull all of your books for you or you can order it online through the new bookstore website,” Textbook Specialist, Alyson Ferrell said.

The new textbook ordering service is already in operation with Tarleton staff ready to take orders. However, these orders will be rolling out slower now than when the bookstore is fully settled in the Fall.

“Right now, I would say about one to two weeks,” turn around “but as we get settled it should just be a matter of days once we get an order to get it picked, packed and approved,” Ferrell said.

The bookstore will still be offering some of the same products as before like the graduation caps and gowns. The only change that will be made to the graduation supplies is that there will be more products to cover the growth in student numbers.

“One of the things we noticed was there didn’t seem to be enough stock in for graduation so we went out and ordered a lot to make sure we had everybody covered. The worst thing I think there could be is somebody wanting something and we don’t have it,” Hoy said.

The new website is currently running with almost full functionality for students to browse merchandise and place orders.

“We’ve gotten 90 percent of our products on [the website], we’ve got our shipping stuff all set up, we have our inventory set up. Basically, everything you need to kind of get the store going, we’ve done,” Tarleton Bookstore E-Commerce Supervisor, Kolton Shoop said.

Shoop is also running the new bookstore social media on Instagram @texanscampusstore and on Twitter @TexansStore.

“Our Instagram is our main social media. It’ll have all of our announcements, it’ll have giveaways, we just started this thing on Mondays where if students post a picture in their gear and then tag us they have a chance to be posted on the Instagram on Mondays,” Shoop said.

Tarleton students can also find the website on the ‘About Us’ section of the Tarleton home page for all of their bookstore needs.

The “new website means new products [and] new beginnings. I think that having the website look this way versus what it used to look like, it kind of gives it more of a ‘I’m going shopping today’ kind of feel. It’s not like a bland college store like every other one,” Shoop said.