The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has chosen Barnes & Noble College, a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble Education Inc., to run The Ragin’ Cajuns Store, both online and at all physical locations. Additionally, Fanatics, an online sportswear retailer, will manage the university’s online fan shop.
The official announcement came in an email from the University on Feb. 9.
“The University has selected Barnes & Noble College to manage daily operations at all locations of The Ragin’ Cajuns Store and all course materials and retail and online operations. Fanatics, an online sports apparel retailer, will manage the University’s online fan shop. Barnes & Noble and Fanatics will offer an expanded selection of University-branded merchandise and apparel,” the email reads.
While more information about the details of the shift to Barnes & Noble is still forthcoming, UL Lafayette students have shared their thoughts and concerns about the transition.
“That’s not right, I believe.” said Sofia Mejia, a junior in accounting. “It’s like a university thing, like a community thing. Bringing people or companies which are only profiting from students who you know sometimes are not in good economic terms and need,”
Others said they weren’t too concerned about whether or not they’d be able to get the school supplies they need after the transition to Barnes & Noble.
“I think because it’s going through the university, even though it is a third party, I think the books that we’ll need are still going to be available,” said Sage Pottbecker, a freshman in nursing.
Some students talked about their concerns over pricing and how that might change under Barnes & Noble.
“My main concern is really the pricing for the textbooks because it’s already really expensive, especially for college students. And if the prices go up, I wouldn’t be too happy about that,” said Kenedie Nelson, a sophomore majoring in psychology
Rhejan Hymes, a senior majoring in music business, echoed a similar sentiment.
“I think my main concern would probably be since it’s now a third party, if they want profit they’re going to have to raise the price of books. So that will be my first thing, but I also feel like it might be a good thing because there might be more options and cheaper options for books,” said Hymes. She also spoke about her concerns on how apparel will be handled.
“I feel like some of the shirt designs that we have are very centered in UL Lafayette, it’s very cultural for us.” Hymes said, adding that some jacket designs have been the same for years. “And the shirts with our majors and stuff on them are really cultural to UL, to be able to buy your major on your shirt and wear it around especially on Fridays. Now I just hope they will take the designs or still collaborate with UL for our designs
The email from UL Lafayette further clarifies that the partnership is still pending approval by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors, and that all bookstores on campus will be temporarily closed.
“All bookstore locations will close for a two-week period for the transition later this semester,” the email reads.
As of Feb. 13 Barnes and Noble has not responded to requests for a comment.