March 15, 2010

Follett Higher Education Group Announces Online Textbook Rental for Independent Bookstores

Newly signed partnership with BookRenter brings together state-of-the-art textbook rental technology with the world's largest wholesaler of used and new college textbooks

Oak Brook, IL, March 15, 2010 -- Follett is launching two new college textbook rental programs for independent bookstores: an online affiliate program powered by BookRenter's technology platform and an in-store rental support program.

By partnering with BookRenter, Follett becomes the nation's first and only textbook wholesaler to offer rental through a customizable online storefront. Simple to implement, Follett's online affiliate program provides students access to millions of rental titles, enhances bookstore competitiveness and adds to bookstore revenues - without adding operational complexities.

"Independently-managed college bookstores are seeking ways to stay competitive and better serve their customers," Thomas A. Christopher, President of Follett Higher Education Group. "Our unique rental offerings provide access to cutting-edge technology and Follett’s best-in-class resources to help students save millions of dollars on higher education costs."

Unique Advantages

By leveraging its resources, relationships and rental expertise, Follett offers bookstore managers the flexibility to choose one or both of these two new rental solutions to fit their unique needs:w

  • Online Affiliate Program — a turnkey rental service featuring guaranteed revenue share, an expansive list of titles made possible by dynamic pricing, a branded online rental solution, and an option to serve as the students' "return depot" – driving foot traffic back to the bookstore at the close of the academic term
  • In-store Program— an in-store rental support program for Follett's independently-managed college store partners with inventory protection, logistical support, in-store and online marketing materials and access to Follett's rental expertise.
Affiliate Program Powered by BookRenter

To deliver online affiliate rental capabilities, Follett has partnered with innovative textbook platform company BookRenter. Utilizing BookRenter's technology platform, Follett will offer customized, bookstore-branded rental websites featuring bookstore-unique URLs where students can rent textbooks online.

"We are very pleased to partner with Follett on this important, game-changing program,"said Mehdi Maghsoodnia, Chief Executive Officer of BookRenter. "Our goal at BookRenter is to make education more affordable by providing access to textbooks at discounted prices. Working together with Follett, we can help make rental a reality for the millions of students who shop at independently-managed bookstores."

With its online affiliate program, Follett eliminates all inventory and virtually all financial concerns - making it easy for independent bookstores to offer textbook rental without the common operational hurdles. And more importantly, while Follett manages the program from nuts to bolts, including customer service, the bookstore maintains ownership of the overall customer relationship. Other benefits of the online affiliate program include:

  • Revenue share that delivers additional bookstore income
  • Zero start-up costs and no hassle implementation
  • Dynamic pricing that allows access to more rental titles
  • BookRenter's analytics platform, including on-demand reporting that tracks data on title performance
  • Customer communications branded with the bookstore's identity
  • Premium customer service and marketing support, including automated reminders to students, and multi-channel advertising

"This exciting new partnership brings together cutting-edge rental technology with the world’s largest wholesaler of used and new college textbooks - so independent bookstores can get in the rental game and remain competitive,"said Fred Weber, Senior Vice President, Wholesale and Distribution Services, at Follett Higher Education Group.

To learn more about Follett textbook rental, please visit www.follettbooks.com.

About Follett Higher Education Group

Follett Higher Education Group of Oak Brook, Illinois, is the leading provider of bookstore services and the foremost supplier of used books in North America. Follett services five million students and over 400,000 faculty members through more than 850 stores. Follett also services more than 1,600 independent campus stores with its wholesale services, and has the most visited ecommerce collegiate website, efollett.com, that provides services and products through a network of more than 900 campus stores.

About Follett

Follett Corporation is a $2.7 billion, privately-held company that provides products, services and solutions to the educational marketplace. Follett Corporation was founded in 1873, and today is headquartered in River Grove, Illinois.

About BookRenter.com

BookRenter launched in 2008 and is dedicated to making education more affordable by allowing students to rent textbooks for up to 75% off the retail price. BookRenter's innovative pricing and operating systems provide students with the best price, highest quality books, and most flexible rental experience available today. Currently carrying over 3 million titles and serving thousands of students on over 5,000 U.S. campuses, BookRenter is one of the fastest growing startups in Silicon Valley, growing at over 400% each year. BookRenter, with offices in Campbell, California, is a private company that is funded by prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firms. To learn more about how to use BookRenter for all of your textbook rental needs, please visit BookRenter.com.