University of Florida Picks Follett to Operate Campus Bookstores

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(Oak Brook, IL May 12, 2000) - The University of Florida has selected the Follett Higher Education Group to operate the University’s bookstores and satellite campus stores starting July 1, 2000.

As part of this 12 year partnership, a new $10 million, 50,000 sq. ft. “state-of-the-art” bookstore will be built near the Reitz Union within the next few years.

“As the largest operator of college bookstores in North America,” commented Jim Morgan, Director of Business Services, “Follett will be able to offer competitive prices and a larger selection of new and used textbooks along with a more comprehensive selection of scholarly academic books.”


Follett will also provide the campus community with cutting-edge products and services such as ebooks and print-on-demand books. Through Follett’s network, books can be printed for customers who have immediate needs.


Faculty and students will also be able to order and reserve textbooks through efollett.com. Through a specially developed site for the University of Florida, students will be able to enter their classes and immediately determine which books they need and order them online. A full selection of campus related “Gator” merchandise will also be available through the Web site.


To ensure competitive pricing for all students, Follett will offer a “low price guarantee” that will meet any price offered by local retailers. Through Follett’s purchasing power, there will be an expansion of campus related products for students at very favorable pricing.


“We are very proud to have been selected to service the faculty, students and alumni at the University of Florida,” commented James W. Baumann, President of the Follett Higher Education Group. “We will commit our financial resources and merchandising expertise to provide a store in which the campus can take great pride.”


“Our current stores have been profitable and growing,” noted Morgan. “The store is expected to sell more than $14 million in textbooks and merchandise this year, an increase from about $11.5 million in 1995.”


UF Vice President for Administrative Affairs, Gerald Schaffer, notified the bookstore employees on the transfer of operations to Follett by noting, “I want to emphasize that the University of Florida did not contract with a third party . . . because of any operational deficiencies at the UF Bookstores . . . . Our bookstores have been professionally managed and have provided excellent service to faculty and students throughout the years.”


Bookstore employees are being protected and will have the option of remaining with the university or developing a career path with Follett. Employees who are near retirement or close to vesting in the state retirement system will be offered the option of continuing to work, for a limited time, for Follett as university employees or taking other positions on campus.


Follett Higher Education Group is the leading contractor of bookstore services and the foremost supplier of used books in North America. Follett serves more than 4 million students and over 300,000 faculty through more than 625 stores and its leading virtual bookstore, efollett.com. Follett’s mission is to help all college bookstores become world class, multi-channel academic retailers and to support higher education by being the preeminent provider of academic and collegiate products and services.

Contacts:

Follett Higher Education Group

Cliff Ewert

630-371-5165

cewert@fheg.follett.com


www.fheg.follett.com

www.efollett.com


University of Florida

Jim Morgan

352-392-0306


www.ufl.edu


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