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Looking to the Future | Bookstore enters new chapter of its life at Mills

(Emily Burian) Online booksellers are beating out the bookstore in sales.
(Emily Burian)
Online booksellers are beating out the bookstore in sales.

Amidst a year of financial and curricular tumult at Mills, there was one unexpected casualty: the Mills bookstore. The bookstore and its current supplier, Follett, have faced declining sales for more than eight years now, and as a result, Mills administrators have decided this semester to close the store down and replace it with a cheaper, online bookstore.

Follett will be leaving campus at the end of the Spring 2016 semester. Its online replacement, eCampus, will go live on May 3, in order to allow students to purchase books for summer session. By May 23, textbooks for Fall 2016 will be available for purchase through the new vendor.

Not only are textbook prices expected to decrease significantly under the new vendor, but new perks will also be offered to make purchasing books more affordable. Starting in the fall, eCampus will be offering online shopping rewards points that can be applied toward books, as well as allowing students to use financial aid toward textbook purchases.

No decisions have yet been made on the fate of the empty storefront, but administrators have discussed the possibility of converting the empty storefront into offices or multipurpose spaces, as well as installing a new, expanded convenience store in nearby Café Suzy in the coming school year.