New campus bookstore vies for slice of lucrative textbook market

The new store on Oak Street Southeast features a price-matching policy.

by Kevin Behr

The owners of a new bookstore in Stadium Village are trying to tap into the student textbook market this fall.

Oak Street Textbooks, which opened last week, gives students another place to purchase books for class.

The store, next to Domino’s Pizza at 213 Oak St. S.E., is locally owned and operated, selling both used and new textbooks. It also sells school supplies.

Nick Angle, the manager and co-owner who’s been selling books for 10 years, said there is a need for another bookstore at the University.

“It’s rare to see a school this size with only two bookstores,” he said. “You need to have more competition.”

University Bookstores director Bob Crabb said he welcomes the competition.

“I think it’s good for students to have options,” he said.

Each bookstore in the area boasts its own individual benefit to students.

Oak Street Textbooks is the only store that offers a price-matching service. If a student finds a book cheaper at another store, Angle said he would do his best to match or even beat competitors’ prices.

First-year journalism and political science student Alina Khasabova said she liked the idea of a price-matching service.

“Anything that makes (books) cheaper would be better,” she said.

Student Book Store General Manager Becky Henning said her store’s main focus is collecting used titles rather than new ones to help save students money.

After 20 years of business, the Dinkydome store keeps students coming back by maintaining a unique environment, Henning said.

“The atmosphere is one of a kind,” she said.

Crabb said the ease of use is what brings students back to University Bookstores in Coffman Union. The store has 48 cash registers to eliminate long waits and students can charge their books to their University accounts, he said.

Students also can purchase their books online from University Bookstores.

“It’s far and away the most used payment method,” Crabb said.

Since the store just launched, Oak Street Textbook’s selection will be limited. The store is carrying most books for the University’s larger classes, Angle said. He said he hopes to have a much larger inventory when spring semester starts.

Danielle Moist, an environmental horticulture senior, said she would probably avoid Oak Street Textbooks because it may not carry books for her specialized field of study.