The Textbook Wars May Be about to Heat Up

Here are two corporate news releases distributed by University Business that suggest that Barnes and Noble and Amazon are positioning themselves to compete with each other, in each other’s areas of strength, for increased shares of the still lucrative textbook market.

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Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. (NYSE: BNED), one of the largest contract operators of bookstores on college and university campuses across the United States and a leading provider of digital education services, today announced a plan to expand its digital services.

What: In response to evolving higher education market conditions, the Company has announced a plan designed to reduce and manage digital expenditures, while at the same time maintaining high quality digital products. The Company has partnered with VitalSource, part of the Ingram Content Group, and has acquired LoudCloud Systems, Inc. The strategy also includes restructuring its Yuzu operations, which will include closing its Yuzu offices and eliminating staffing in California and Washington.

The Company has established a long-term relationship with VitalSource, a global leader in building, enhancing and delivering eReading content. This collaboration will allow Barnes & Noble Education for a seamless transition with a Yuzu-branded product, ensuring students have an excellent digital reading experience and access to a broad digital catalog.

The acquisition of LoudCloud, a sophisticated digital platform and analytics provider with a proven product and existing clients in the higher education, for-profit and K-12 markets, positions the Company to be able to provide a robust digital learning platform to drive improved outcomes for students and to better serve clients. LoudCloud’s current product capabilities include a competency-based courseware platform, a learning analytics platform and services, an eReading product, and a learning management system (LMS). Its software captures and analyzes key behavioral and performance metrics from students, allowing educators to monitor and improve student success.

Who: “These actions give us the capabilities to offer digital products that our clients are demanding, improve our competitive position, and positively impact revenue and profitability.” – Max J. Roberts, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble Education, Inc.

“The acquisition of LoudCloud will be a key asset for Barnes & Noble Education’s digital strategy, better positioning it as a leader in the rapidly growing multi-billion dollar market for digital products and services. LoudCloud’s impressive portfolio of products and strong operating team will enable us to address the growing and diverse demands of our clients in the dynamically changing education industry.” – Kanuj Malhotra, Chief Operating Officer, Digital Education, Barnes & Noble Education

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Amazon today announced an agreement with Georgia Institute of Technology to open Amazon@GeorgiaTech, a staffed pickup location at 86 Fifth Street NW on the Georgia Tech campus. The first Amazon pickup location in the state of Georgia, Amazon@GeorgiaTech offers the campus community, as well as the larger Midtown Atlanta community a convenient location in Technology Square to pick up and return Amazon orders, including virtually everything one needs, from everyday essentials to technology.

“Technology Square is often considered the epicenter of innovation for Georgia Tech and Midtown Atlanta. It is fitting that such a unique operation will be housed here to serve our community.”

Opening later this summer, this approximately 2,500-square-foot space will be conveniently situated for Georgia Tech students, staff and faculty. Additionally, Amazon Student and Prime members will receive Free Same-Day Pickup for orders placed by noon and Free One-Day Pickup for orders placed by 10PM. To learn more about Amazon Student, visit amazon.com/joinstudent.

“Technology Square is often considered the epicenter of innovation for Georgia Tech and Midtown Atlanta. It is fitting that such a unique operation will be housed here to serve our community,” said Paul Strouts, Vice President Campus Services at Georgia Tech. “Our students are savvy consumers who value the efficiency and convenience of online shopping. We are pleased to offer a service that takes the delivery experience to a new level through novel engineering and the creative application of technology.”

Amazon@GeorgiaTech will offer more opportunities for Georgia Tech students to save on their overall costs along with great customer service, better selection and convenience,” said Ripley MacDonald, Director of Amazon Student Programs. “We’re excited to continue to bring more Amazon pickup locations to even more campus communities.”

Since 2015, Amazon has opened staffed pickup locations at the following universities: Purdue University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and University of California, Berkeley, as well as in the college communities of University of California, Santa Barbara, and University of Cincinnati. In addition to The Georgia Institute of Technology, Amazon also will open four more locations in 2016 with the University of Pennsylvania, University of California, Davis, and The University of Texas at Austin, as well as in the college community of University of Akron.

About Amazon Student: Amazon Student gives college students Free Two-Day Shipping on millions of items, and special offers and promotions created just for students as part of the six-month free trial. After that it’s just $49 a year—half the price of a regular Amazon Prime membership—and includes unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Prime Video, over a million songs with Prime Music, and access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. To learn more, visit amazon.com/joinstudent.

 

 

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