The Student Stores RFP Advisory Committee — a 13 member committee made up of faculty, staff and then-student body president Houston Summers and Chief of Staff Harry Edwards — reviewed eight proposals to manage the stores, one of which came from the Student Stores.
The committee unanimously recommended Barnes & Noble College to administrators. On April 21, the University announced Barnes & Noble College would begin operating the stores July 1.
According to the University news release, the 10-year contract between UNC and Barnes & Noble College states the company will spend $3.8 million on renovations in the retail space of the stores.
The University received a $1 million signing bonus that Ives said went toward need-based scholarships and financial aid. For this year and the next, UNC will be guaranteed $3 million from Barnes & Noble College which will be used to pay university expenses and then need-based scholarships. After that, the University will receive 95 percent of sales commissions, Ives said.
When Barnes & Noble College was announced as the company that would operate the stores, Ives said under the new management, new and used textbooks would be 10 percent less expensive.
“There’s a pricing formula that’s the same pricing formula we currently use to price our textbooks and the price that Barnes & Noble agreed to have in our stores is a ten percent discount to that,” Ives said in April.
Another term of the contract was Barnes & Noble College would provide their own cafe which would replace The Daily Grind Espresso Cafe. In its place is now the UNC Cafe, a Barnes & Noble run coffee shop that provides Starbucks products.
Michele Gretch Carter, director of the stores, said in November the bulk of the renovations on the stores will start in late February of 2017 with a tentative end date of mid-June.