As many students may have noticed, the Student Union (SU) Barnes & Noble is currently under construction. The store is being completely remodeled and rearranged.
Improvements are expected to be completed by Saturday, Feb. 28. Patrick Duff, the SU general manager, revealed many details about the remodeling.
Changes in the first floor include the rearrangement of merchandise and new additions to the store.
The customer service desk was relocated from the back corner to the front left of the store. This improvement will provide students with easy access to specific customer care and information.
A new information center has been built next to the entrance of the steps leading down to the ground floor. The previous location of the snacks and beverages section moved to where the book section used to be located.
By the checkout center in the back there is now a station to organize merchandise. This section was added to improve the store’s arrangement and visual appeal to customers.
In addition, the merchandise section of the store will be expanded around its entire area. With this new arrangement, the bookstore hopes to recreate workspaces for employees and produce an enhanced shopping experience for students.
A study and lounge area will also be added inside the bookstore. Other merchandise additions include sections for Greek life, graduates, and alumni.
The ground floor, where textbooks are sold, is also being remodeled.
All of the bookshelves are now behind the checkout area, which will manage textbook purchases when the store is busy. This rearrangement will also help students find textbooks more quickly and easily.
The school supply and technology sections, which were formerly upstairs, have been relocated downstairs; however, simple technological accessories, like headphones, will still be available at the upstairs checkout. The back rooms, including storage rooms and the order processing room, are also being improved to make processes faster.
A downstairs office is being transformed into an online order pick-up location, since the old section was too crowded. This pick-up spot is more spacious and closer to the online order storage room, making it better suited for more customers and faster service. The elevator is also now fully fixed and functional after being closed off due to damages.
In addition to physical improvements, enhancements have been made with technology.
These improvements include making online ordering more accessible by introducing cell phone scanning to pick up orders. Furthermore, the Wi-Fi server “rootown” has been made more available and reliable for students to access in the SU and around campus.
These projects are the result of a renewal of UA’s contract with Barnes & Noble. Bookstore employees are especially involved in planning for the improvements.
“The people who work at the bookstore are the ones who get to help the students everyday,” Duff said. “Therefore, we are the main force behind initiating these renovations, because we know what the students need. We truly care about improving this campus and creating the best experience for the students.”