Campus Bookstores Focus Less on Books, More on Branded Merchandise
Campus bookstores are much more than bookstores, as many of us know. It's a place for prospective students, current students, alumni and their families to stock up on items like apparel, drinkware and pretty much any other item you can add a logo to (which we know is a lot).
It turns out, we could start seeing even more product variety in campus bookstores, as physical book sales are shrinking thanks to factors such as online availability and rental programs.
For Brigham Young University, branded wedding dresses isn't a far-fetched idea.
"A whole lot of folks get engaged while they're students," Mark Clegg, director of the BYU Store told the Daily Herald. "If they want to buy a wedding gown, there is no place on campus to get that. It seems to me like the BYU Store would be perfectly suited to have a beautifully done, and I mean this, a thoughtfully designed wedding boutique store that carried a fantastic selection of wedding gowns that you could either buy or rent."
Stranger things have happened. And with sports fanatics incorporating their devotion in life events like marriage and having kids, who's to say that someone wouldn't want to don a BYU wedding dress? (Personally, I'd love to see someone in a Temple University tux one day. A TUx, if you will.)
The shift away from being a bookstore came in 2014 at BYU, after it dropped the "book" from its name to simply become the BYU Store. Over time, the store became more of a place for students to get their branded gear than the books they were taking to class.
"The loyalty to UVU by our students increased dramatically," Louise Bridge, director of the Utah Valley University Bookstore, said. "They are pretty proud to wear something that says 'UVU.'"
Aside from school pride, there's the sports connection, too. As we saw with the University of Miami, fans are stocking up on apparel to show their school spirit whether they ever attended a class there or not.
So, while the amount of actual books in campus bookstores might start to shrink, we can expect a lot of items like pet apparel, kitchen goods and, hey, even wedding dresses.
(I'm serious about that TUx idea. Any fellow Owls out there looking to get married soon, hit me up.)