New Online Student Bookstore Plans $10 Million Campaign

Elmhurst, IL-based Follett Corp.’s Higher Education Group said it plans a $10
million ad campaign to support the just-launched efollett.com, an online college bookstore
that offers students “the ease of online shopping with the convenience of on-
campus service.”


The site is designed to serve as an e-commerce “portal” for campus bookstores
nationwide, providing up-to-date booklists for more than 450 academic
institutions and all of the required course materials, including 110,000
textbook titles and campus-specific course packs and value packs.


Free in-store pick-up of textbooks or shipment to any destination are offered.
The site goes live Jan. 4 and will compete with VarsityBooks.com, which recently
redesigned its Web site and launched its own multi-million dollar marketing
campaign.


The ad campaign begins Jan. 4 with two 30-second spots that will air
nationally during the Fiesta Bowl. In addition, full-page ads will break on
Jan. 8 in USA Today. The efollett.com ad campaign encourages college students
to “Get out of line.”


The national ad campaign will be supplemented by print ads and radio and
television spots in Chicago, Washington, DC, San Francisco and four Florida
markets: Jacksonville, Gainesville, Miami/Fort Lauderdale and Tallahassee.


efollett.com will initially serve the 450 academic institutions for which
Follett College Stores Corp. manages the campus bookstore. Follett said it
would have all 585 stores it operates online by the end of February. Follett
also expects to add more than 500 independent campus bookstores as
efollett.com partners by the fall.


“Our e-commerce strategy involves forming partnerships with campus bookstores
across the country to enable efollett.com to deliver the right course
materials at the right time to students,” said James W. Baumann, president of
Follett’s Higher Education Group.


Through its partnerships with local campus bookstores, efollett.com offers
students the choice of either picking their textbooks up at the local
bookstore or having their textbooks shipped to them. The shipping fee is $3.95
for the first book and 95 cents for each additional book.


Follett is a billion-dollar company that has provided products and services to
the educational marketplace for 125 years.

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