On Feb. 15, the Independent Collegiate Bookstore Association (ICBA), which represents over 100 independent college stores, awarded its annual MVP award for outstanding store performance over a five-year cumulative period to the CU Book Store at University of Colorado Boulder.
It is the first time the store has won the prestigious award from ICBA and comes almost exactly two years after winning the Collegiate Retailer of the Year award from the National Association of College Stores (NACS).
"Our administration’s faith in us to run the business has really helped us grow," said CU Book Store Director Chris Gotski. "Without their support, along with the support of our faculty, staff and students, we would be unable to run such a successful store."
Gotski recognizes the CU Book Store is fortunate in many ways. First, Boulder is an amazing city and the University of Colorado Boulder is one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation. Those factors, along with world-class faculty and programs, keep enrollment numbers climbing.
Also, the book store is wholly owned by the university, which allows surpluses to be re-invested on campus and, in turn, provides the store with the financial strength to implement new technologies and products in support of the sales goal of reducing the cost of course materials for students.
However, it is the CU Book Store's industry-leading rental program that has set them apart in recent years. The store rented 95,000 books last year and saved students an estimated $4.1 million.
Over the past five years, this number is even more dramatic at 340,000 books rented at a savings of $13.3 million over the cost of purchasing new. Partnering with faculty and administration to receive textbook information in a timely fashion has been an important factor in the success of the rental program and this savings to students.
"We’re committed to improving ourselves every day and enhancing the reputation of our campus," Gotski added.