Rumors of the death of college bookstores have been greatly exaggerated, according to Barnes and Noble College VP of operations and CMO Lisa Malat.
Even against stiff competition—such as Textbook.com and Amazon.com—Malat says the company’s research has allowed it to engage with millennial and Generation Z students in the company’s 770 campus bookstores across the U.S.
“I’m finding over the past two to three years, the whole customer understanding piece of my job has played an important role,” she says. “We established a dedicated research platform two to three years ago where we have a group of 10,000 students—called our student point of view—who weigh in on a lot of issues with us. It’s what has been driving our business lately.”