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Cardiff Selected as Pilot Location for New Format Academic Bookshop


Leading academic bookseller Blackwell’s has selected Cardiff as one of two new university campus shops in the UK to act as a pilot for a new format of academic bookshop.

This week Robert Wilson, Dean for Education Innovation at Cardiff University, officially reopened the Blackwell’s shop in the Student Union building at Cardiff University following the redevelopment of the Student Union shopping zone. The entire look and feel of a traditional academic bookshop has been renewed and modernised, with a focus on creating a retail environment students are comfortable shopping within. The new shop spaces feature digital displays, interactive touchscreens and a contemporary retail design. The other new pilot shop is in Liverpool.

blackwellThe new shop format brings together both physical and eBooks, giving students the choice on how they study. eBooks can be browsed on Blackwell’s Learning Platform through interactive instore screens and purchased at the till, enabling students to experience the benefits of owning and using digital textbooks. Blackwell’s Learning, is a bespoke academic eReading platform, specifically designed for study and is supported with free to download Apple and Android apps. It enables students and lecturers to access content across laptops, tablets and smartphones. It provides full educational functionality including bookmarking, annotation and note sharing, along with additional accessibility features such as text to speech.

Blackwell’s CEO David Prescott says:

“Blackwell’s understands how important fast access to the full catalogue of books is to both students and academics. Prompt and flexible delivery of over 8m titles will be supported by the, newly optimised, infrastructure of in order to offer fast delivery for collection from the shops, or direct to home or university.”

Blackwell’s is innovating with its offers as well as its shop design and this autumn launches its ‘Student Price Match Guarantee’ to all students, providing all customers with the peace of mind that they will be buying textbooks at the cheapest UK price; an eBook multibuy offer, where, if students buy a physical textbook, they can get the eBook for just £5 and also the ability for students to buy and sell second-hand textbooks at every UK shop.

Blackwell’s CEO David Prescott adds:

“When students come in for textbooks we want to show them an environment that will inspire them to come back and see us throughout the year. These new format shops will provide a new experience with more space for students to sit down and take advice from our expert booksellers, to browse multiple channels on interactive touchscreens that not only gives them access to the stock in shop but also to the eight million titles we have online for home delivery or collection on campus.”

Blackwell’s Cardiff shop manager Paula Martin says:

“Our new shop is located at the heart of the Student Union. The new technology and layout that sets it aside from a traditional academic bookshop will, we hope, provide a fantastic resource and venue for both students and staff.”