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Follett Returns to Vanderbilt University to Manage Campus Store Operations

Campus retailer to deliver innovative retail experience and unmatched course materials programs.

WESTCHESTER, ILL., Jun 1, 2021 – Follett Corporation, the largest campus retailer in North America with more than 1,100 campus locations, announced today that Vanderbilt University will transition its campus retail operations to Follett Higher Education Group on June 1, 2021, with plans underway for a full renovation.  The partnership between Follett and Vanderbilt is resurfacing after several years of campus store operations by a competing retailer. 

“Planning for the future of Vanderbilt’s campus store began nearly a year ago, involving a broad cross-section of campus stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, and fans.  It was clear to our team that Follett was committed to delivering a campus store experience uniquely tailored to Vanderbilt University, and to offering best-in-class service to our community,” remarks David ter Kuile, executive director for Business Services.

Follett plans to welcome back the Vanderbilt community this fall with a completely refreshed store - one that exudes campus pride and celebrates the legacy of Vanderbilt University. With a focus on Vanderbilt’s brand, the new store will include updated fixtures and displays, contemporary design elements, and an expanded assortment of Vanderbilt apparel and gifts.  As part of the renovation, the store will also feature new graphics and images that celebrate Vanderbilt and promote the institution’s ties to the surrounding Nashville community. 

“We cannot wait to bring a Vanderbilt-focused store vision back to campus for Vanderbilt students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members,” says Pat Usher, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Follett. “Our goal is to deliver a campus store experience that supports and elevates Vanderbilt’s legacy as a premier academic and athletic institution.”

Follett and Vanderbilt’s mutual commitment to promoting literacy and engaging readers within the community has impacted renovation plans as well.  The store’s general reading section will be transformed into an inviting space for students and community members, ultimately allowing for more opportunities to host guest speakers and author events. 

Equally important, Follett’s collegiate online commitment and expertise is being extended to the Vanderbilt campus store’s online channel, where shoppers can experience Follett’s world-class ecommerce platform. The company’s platform was ranked #57 on Digital Commerce 360’s 2021 Top 1000 list.  With a multi-year, $50 million ecommerce investment already underway, Follett’s partnership brings the necessary technology and foresight to serve the Vanderbilt community – anytime, anywhere, no matter how learning and celebrating is taking place. 

Whether shopping in-store or online, Vanderbilt students will benefit from one of Follett’s fundamental missions – and that’s delivering course materials that are more affordable and accessible than ever before.  The company boasts an expansive inventory of cost-saving course material options like used books and digital materials, as well as a flagship text rental program that can help students save up to 80 percent. 

During the 2020-2021 academic year, students across Follett’s network have saved more than $113 million by participating in the text rental program. Students saved another $127 million by choosing digital options, like eBooks or digital courseware.

In addition, online tools such as “Shop by Student ID” and academic tools like Follett DiscoverTM will allow Vanderbilt students and faculty to easily find, procure and access course materials.   Follett has invested $65 million in its academic tools that drive faculty choice and student affordability. More information on these programs can be found at

“Follett is taking campus retail at Vanderbilt to a new, innovative level,” says Roe McFarlane, president of Follett Higher Education.  “Over the past 140-plus years, we’ve become the industry experts in collegiate merchandising, course material solutions and integrated technology.  We’re thrilled to be able to share all of it with the Vanderbilt community.”

For details on the full breadth of Vanderbilt’s new campus store products and services, visit on June 1, 2021. 

Plans for unveiling the renovated store will be announced later this year. Follett and Vanderbilt will keep the health and safety of the community top of mind during this transition.

Follett is excited to welcome Vanderbilt back into its family of campus stores.  

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About Vanderbilt University

Founded in 1873 with a $1 million gift from “Commodore” Cornelius Vanderbilt to establish an institution that would “contribute to strengthening the ties that should exist between all sections of our common country,” today Vanderbilt University is globally renowned for its transformative education and research. The university's 10 schools reside on a parklike campus set in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee, providing a collaborative culture that empowers leaders of tomorrow.

Top-ranked in both academics and financial aid, Vanderbilt offers an immersive residential undergraduate experience, with programs in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, music, education and human development. The university also is home to nationally and internationally recognized graduate schools of law, education, business, medicine, nursing and divinity, and offers robust graduate-degree programs across a range of disciplines.

About Follett Higher Education Group | 
FHEG is a prominent and historic omnichannel retailer and educational service provider that operates over 1,100 campus store locations and 1,250 ecommerce campus store websites. Currently ranked #57 on Digital Commerce 360’s 2021 Top 1000 list, Follett provides emblematic and non-emblematic general merchandise and course materials within the higher education marketplace.

FHEG serves both two-year and four-year colleges through long-term contracts with approximately 800 campus partners. FHEG manages the institution’s online and in-store channels to assort and sell a wide array of merchandise and services that support students, faculty, campus administration, alumni, and the surrounding community. We enable faculty to teach, students to learn, institutions to run and fans to celebrate. 

About Follett Corporation |
Follett Corporation is the world's largest single source of educational materials, digital content, ecommerce, and multi-media for libraries, schools and institutions. Headquartered in Westchester, Illinois, Follett provides education technology, services and physical and digital content to millions of students at 70,000 schools, and more than 2,700 physical locations and campus eCommerce platforms in North America. Through our Baker & Taylor division, Follett's reach also extends to the public library markets.

Media Contact:
Follett Higher Education

Samantha Swick, Director of Marketing and Communications

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