Campus News - January 14, 2002
Bookstore makes magazine cover
By Carolyn Gonzales
The UNM Bookstore was the cover story for the Sept. issue of College Store
Executive, a national publication on news and merchandizing in the college store
The article, "Turning Complaints into Compliments," addresses how
the staff, under the direction of Bookstore Director Melanie Sparks, listened
to complaints from UNM faculty, staff and students about services and operation
of the Bookstore and moved to remedy the problems.
Issues included textbooks not being available in time for classes, shortage
of required books and long lines at the checkout counter during rushes and text
Sparks, Bookstore director since 1999, together with the bookstore director
from California State University-San Bernadino, made a presentation last year
at Connect 2 One, a buying group. The article was a later result.
Sparks said that one of the first steps toward improvement was refocusing on
Next came training, especially when it came to textbook ordering. Communicating
with faculty, using publisher representatives, working off used-book lists,
getting beyond a hit or miss approach to text buy backs and developing a computer
system to track inventory all aided in resolving issues Sparks and her staff
heard from their customers.
The hard work paid off. The 27 cash registers rang up sales of more than $12.6
million for fiscal year 2000-01 with textbook sales at $7.7 million.
Overall sales were up 6.2 percent from the previous year.
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