Part of what makes Barnes & Noble College Marketing unique is our direct/firsthand access to a network of over 700 on-campus college bookstores, and the store managers who help us execute our programs, in market, and who help us insure exceptional customer service during our marketing programs.
BNCM interviewed bookstore manager, Paul Stevenson, at Store #396, Barnes & Noble at LSU to get some insights on his store, and his experience with our company.
2 Union Square
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
How many students does the bookstore serve?
We serve over 32,000 students
How many years have you worked with BNC?
I started working for Barnes & Noble in 1996 as a student. I have worked for all three divisions of our company including Barnes & Noble Inc, B. Dalton Booksellers, and Barnes & Noble College.
What makes your bookstore unique? (merchandise, events, etc?)
We opened our new store in October of 2012. Our bookstore is unique in size as we are the largest single store location in the company. In addition to our textbook department and school merchandise areas, we have an event room that can hold up to 90 people. This room can be booked free of charge for campus groups and it has been greatly received here on campus….so much so, that the LSU Office of Enrollment Management ends all prospective student tours, (with numbers reaching over 8,000 people per year), in our event room to showcase both the university and the bookstore. This is a true testament to how Barnes & Noble College works with their university partners by integrating our services into the fabric of the school.
While the size of our store is great, our focus is still how we give the campus community the highest levels of customer service. We enjoy bringing great products and great deals to our students and our customers, throughout the year.
What has been your favorite/most successful marketing program at the bookstore?
One of our most successful and well received programs was a Sony sponsored concert tour featuring Jordan Lawhead. We set up our entire B&N Café for the performance and had a huge turnout for the event. For me it was a turning point for our marketing programs in the sense that we were able to offer more than the traditional handouts and free samples. This event brought an experience to campus that both Barnes & Noble and LSU could promote to students and to the entire campus community.
In what ways does the bookstore also serve the local community?
In our new location, the bookstore has become more community focused, as our amenities have expanded. We have a children’s area, a tech store, and a large café – all of which provide a total customer experience here in the store.
What is the “best kept secret” about your bookstore?
A replica of the P40 Flying Tiger airplane hovers above the main atrium area with our mascot Mike, the Tiger at the controls. We not only pays homage to one of the most prolific WWII squadrons honoring LSU’s “Ole War Skule” heritage, but the commander of the Lieutenant General Claire Lee Chennault, is a LSU alumnus.
Fun School Facts:
Mike the Tiger is the mascot name. Mike is a a real live tiger, he lives in a habitat in the back of the stadium. Before home games, he’s placed in a cage near the visiting team’s locker room to intimidate them as they enter the field.
In 1988, during a home game, a crowd of near 80,000 reacted to the game’s final pass loudly enough to register as an earthquake by a seismograph located in LSU’s campus about 1,000 feet from the stadium.
LSU is one of only a handful of universities in the nation having land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant status
Three of LSU’s University Presidents were military generals:
–Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman (1860-61), a Civil War General who was appointed the General of the Army of the United States under President Ulysses S. Grant.
–Maj. Gen. Campbell Hodges (1941-44) Commandant of Cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and military adviser to President Herbert Hoover.
–Lt. Gen. Troy Middleton (1951-61), awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for actions in the Meuse-Argonne offensive during World War I and a leader during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.