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HPU outsources bookstore to Barnes & Noble

    By Pavel Stankov. July 30, 2013 - 12:22 pm

Photo by Pavel Stankov

Photo by Pavel Stankov

In addition to having a new location, the HPU bookstore will have the support of the largest book retailer in the U.S. this coming Fall 2013.

Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, a subsidiary of the larger B&N, will be operating HPU’s bookstore as it moves to the new Aloha Tower location (shown below). The corporation will also establish book-trading sites at the Hawaii Loa and military campuses.

According to HPU’s VP of Marketing, Todd Simmons, B&N was selected over two other candidates by a panel including staff, faculty, and students.

“I think Barnes and Noble will have better resources than us to manage the complex operations,” said Simmons.

The 7,200 square foot Aloha Tower location will open August 14 near the entrance of the marketplace right across from the valet stop – the former location of the Pipe Dreams Surf Company.

The bookstore will sell familiar items such as new and used textbooks, eBooks, and HPU gear, in addition to Barnes & Noble’s more traditional products.

“I want to see the HPU brand more visible,” said Simmons. “[B&N] will bring new relationships and resources to bear on getting more branded products into the marketplace.”

HPU’s ambition is to cater to the affiliation and school spirit of its alumni; 14,000 of whom currently live in Hawaii.

“We hear from them [the alumni]– they would like more product and more ways to show their pride with the school,” said Simmons.

Partnering with B&N will not only serve the HPU community. Downtown Honolulu can benefit from having the presence of a big-name bookstore in the immediate area. After the Borders closed at Ward Warehouse, the nearest large bookstore is a Barnes & Nobel inside Ala Moana Center.

“It says something that the first retail tenant that we are announcing here is not a nightclub, or necessarily a tourism oriented venture, but a national bookseller,” said Simmons. “This development (at Aloha Tower) is not intended to be ‘Waikiki Junior,’ but it’s created with the idea of serving students and others in a responsible way.”

The bookstore also announced the discontinuation of the old stamp system, though current full bonus cards will be accepted.