University bookshop to close to provide student social learning space

Following a consultation on the future of the University of Leicester bookshop, it has been decided to close the store in the David Wilson Library and to re-use the space to create additional social learning space for students.

Social learning space is at a premium across campus and always in demand. During the consultation discussions have taken place with the Students’ Union and many of the most popular features of the bookshop, such as printing, binding and University merchandise, have been retained in the new student shop.

The University Bookshop has seen declining sales over the past few years, and student buying habits have shifted online. We remain committed to ensuring that University of Leicester students have a great student experience and are still able to purchase books on campus. We are looking into the best way to deliver a bookselling service through packs of textbooks being made available at the start of the academic year via pop-up shops hosted in departments.

Student social learning space

The David Wilson Library Bookshop occupies a prime location on campus. We have a shortfall of study spaces on campus and this space will be turned into a ‘Learning Zone’ for more informal group study so that students can work together in a social environment.

Pop-up bookshops

Sales in the bookshop were seasonal, with a spike in sales at the start of the academic year. We are proposing that this will continue to be delivered through pop-up bookshops within departments, bringing the relevant books directly to students. A retail team would liaise with departments to identify their required booklist and suitable dates and locations for the pop-up stores. Students will be able to order their books in advance and collect them from these pop-up stores.

Campus shop

A multipurpose shop has been created in the Percy Gee Building. Popular services including branded clothing, stationery and merchandise, and an ordering and collection service for printing and binding, are contained within this new shop. There will also be a book ordering and collection facility available all year round within the shop.

The next steps

We have kept the bookshop open for the start of the Autumn term which will allow students to buy the books they require. We intend to close the space on Friday 2 December 2016 once stock has run down and begin re-furbishing it. This will be in two phases. The first will be a small amount of work and installation of furniture to create a Reading Room ready for January 2017. The space will then be fully re-furbished in Summer 2017 to provide a modern and welcoming social learning space. More information about the project will be displayed on the web and within the Reading Room when it opens.

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