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The Antelope

The Antelope

Loper Bookstore transforms over summer into spirit shop

Colton Proplesch and Morgan Scanlon browse the spirit shop. Photo provided by Grace McDonald / Antelope Staff

Last spring, the Antelope Bookstore had some apparel and textbooks that filled half the store. Now, the bookstore has a wider selection of Loper gear, and textbooks can be bought online and shipped right to the new Loper Spirit Shop. 

Len Fangmeyer, bookstore manager since 1999, said that students’ influence is all over the store.

“Barnes and Noble had their way of doing business, and their way of doing purchasing, that was all done at the corporate level.” Fangmeyer said. “We didn’t have much of a say in it.”

In past years, Barnes and Noble College was the operator of The Antelope Bookstore, where Fangmeyer said that they found out what apparel they were selling when they opened the box. 

“We’re making an effort to work with some local vendors, and the local vendors are being very good on getting us some good pricing on some items,” Fangmeyer said. “You can still get some name brands through the local vendors. Obviously working with a Champion or an Under Armour, you can negotiate the prices with them and purchasing power.”

Working with those local vendors helps cut down on shipping and lowers the cost of apparel in the Spirit Shop. For instance, the generic UNK T-shirts that were sold at Barnes and Noble last year would cost $18-20. In the Spirit Shop, you can buy two generic T-shirts for $25.

The local influence also helped with the expansion of some merchandise selections. Barnes and Noble allowed for the sale of two types of hats. In the Spirit Shop, there’s a whole section of hats, visors and bucket hats.

For textbook sales, UNK partnered with Akademos to handle textbook sales. Seventy percent of the student population is buying textbooks and using the payment option on MyBlue.

Students can have the textbook on the first day of class and pay for the textbook at a later time.

It’s an option Fangmeyer has advocated for during his tenure as the bookstore’s manager. 

“That’s a huge thing for student success and student retention,” Fangmeyer said. “Too many times students were waiting for that paycheck, and they were two or three weeks into school without a book. They were feeling behind, and I think that might’ve caused some of them to drop.”

Students can expect to see new deals, promotions, holiday related apparel and many more new items in the new school year. All of this stems from the Spirit Shop’s new local control.

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