Salt Lake City, UT -- March 4, 2017. The National Association of College Stores (NACS) , announced today at CAMEX 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah, that its subsidiary, indiCo, will offer a new operational model for campus stores. indiCo's Independent Campus Stores Collaborative gives higher education an alternative to leasing or self-operation of the campus store, one that provides students with more affordable course materials and returns more money to the institution through a collaborative business model.
"NACS has reinvented indiCo using a cooperative approach that's been very successful in higher education over the last 20 years. Whether within or among academic departments or among colleges and universities, cooperative approaches have worked to solve problems, fill gaps, and offer special opportunities to students while lowering risk and costs for the institution, "said NACS CEO Robert A. Walton.
IndiCo offers institutions two approaches to campus store operation. Its full-service option encompasses all the critical operational components of a store–staff management and training, general merchandise and sourcing, course materials management and sourcing, retail technology, e-commerce solutions, data analytics and design services. In addition to guaranteed income, this option also includes profit sharing based on the store's performance. The custom store is an a la carte option that lets stores select the services that address their specific needs.
indiCo has formed strategic partnerships with leading service and technology providers in the marketplace to provide institutions with the best price and service options. Partnering with indiCo are: Akademos, Amazon, Montezuma Publishing, Nebraska Book Company, RedShelf, Sidewalk, Trimdata Corp., Verba Software, and VitalSource.
Additionally, indiCo has expanded its team of higher education professionals to include long-time industry specialists with extensive experience in areas such as store management, retail technology, course materials sourcing, inventory management and store design.
"While leasing the campus store was once a viable option, that model has deteriorated. We believe that independent stores best serve the needs of students and higher education. Corporate leasing companies now drain more than $1 billion in profits from leased stores every five years. That is money that, through institutionally operated stores, previously helped fund financial aid and other student services, employee benefits, and campus facilities renewal. That's $2 billion every decade going into the pockets of corporate operators and their investors—money that higher education desperately needs," said Walton.
Two other operational units of NACS, NACSCORP and Connect2One, will become part of the indiCo collaborative service offerings and operate under the indiCo name effective with the CAMEX announcement.
indiCo is a collaborative business model for operating campus stores that lowers the cost of higher education and improves student success. We offer campus administrators and store directors an alternative to leasing or self-operating their campus bookstores. indiCo combines the efficiency, buying power, and guidance promised by corporate lease operators with the flexibility and brand autonomy of an institutionally operated university store. Backed by its parent company, The National Association of College Stores (NACS) , indiCo is a trusted partner with deep knowledge of campus stores and an established network of the industry's leading vendors.
The National Association of College Stores (NACS), headquartered in Oberlin, Ohio, is the professional trade association of the $10 billion campus store industry. NACS provides education and other resources that help its member stores support student success, the campus experience, and the academic missions of higher education institutions. The association represents all campus stores, which include nearly 4,000 campuses in the U.S. and Canada, and approximately 1,000 industry-related companies that supply course materials and other merchandise and services to campus stores.
Produced and hosted by the National Association of College Stores (NACS), Campus Market Expo (CAMEX) is campus retailing industry's largest educational conference and buying expo, attracting more than 1,500 attendees from more than 500 campus stores as well as nearly 500 exhibiting companies.