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CSC News

BiiG 2018 Update

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BiiG is Heading Back to Niagara Falls for 2018

BiiG 2018 will be held once again in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Mark your calendars with the following information:

Date: January 30 – February 2, 2018
Location: Marriott on the Falls / Scotiabank Convention Centre
Room Rate: $109 - $119 per night (depending on the type of room you prefer)

Why are we going to Niagara Falls again and not back to Toronto?

CSC did an exhaustive search in Toronto to bring BiiG back for 2018. When selecting our conference location however, we have to take a number of things into consideration.  These include:
  1. Available Dates: There is a short window of opportunity for when we can host our annual conference. Having it earlier conflicts with January rush. Having it later conflicts with other conferences our members like to attend, such as ICBA and Camex. We also take into consideration the timing of the Toronto CanGift and MODE Accessories shows. It really only leaves us a window of 1 to 2 weeks to choose from.
  2. Conference Venue: BiiG requires a significant amount of space for our tradeshow and education sessions. Most hotels in Toronto are too small to host BiiG. Those that can are booked and would require us to break up the tradeshow into multiple rooms. CSC did check out a number of smaller convention and event facilities but none provide the space and requirements we need. This leaves us with having to go to one of the bigger convention centres in Toronto. We were able to find suitable space at the Enercare Centre. The cost to CSC for this meeting space would be approximately $15,000 more than previous years.
  3. Hotel Availability: While we could secure a venue to host our conference and tradeshow in, we couldn’t find a suitable hotel for our members to stay in at a reasonable price. Most hotels in the area of the Enercare Centre are either booked or would cost CSC delegates $220-$260 per night to stay (more than double what delegates pay in Niagara Falls). None of the hotels are close to the convention centre so transportation back and forth would also be required.
  4. Why Look in Toronto and Not in Other Cities?  Our members and vendor partners have made it clear to CSC that moving BiiG outside of the GTA would have a significant impact on our numbers. Surveys show there would be a significant drop in vendor participation. This would have a significant impact on CSC’s budget and operations during the year.
Due to the number of road blocks we ran into above, the CSC Board decided to take BiiG back to Niagara Falls for 2018. Niagara Falls is more affordable for members to attend BiiG. The facilities there are state-of-the-art and the overall experience for our members will be better. Our experience in Niagara Falls last year was positive and thus we hope to make BiiG 2018 even better.  

CSC will continue looking at its options in Toronto for BiiG 2019. We will keep members informed as we continue our search.

Changes for BiiG 2018

Each year, the CSC Board looks to improve upon the last.  BiiG 2016 and 2017 were very successful shows and we are planning to make BiiG 2018 even better.  Here are some of the changes we are planning for BiiG 2018:
  • Lower Registration Costs – CSC understands budgets are tight for our members. We have been looking at ways in which we can lower the costs for you to attend without having a significant impact on the value and experience you receive at the show. Members can expect lower registration costs this year for BiiG 2018.
  • Hotel in Niagara Falls – CSC has a room block booked with the Marriott on the Falls which is right across the street from the Scotiabank Convention Centre. It will be easier this year for members to walk between the convention centre and the hotel.
  • A Full Day Managers and Directors Meeting – If you are a Director, Manager or Assistant Manager for your campus store, you will be invited to attend a full day meeting the day before BiiG. There will be no additional cost for Managers and Directors to attend (outside of travel). You don’t have to be registered for BiiG to attend. Together, we will explore and discuss some of the key issues affecting our industry.  Book January 30th off in your calendar and come prepared for a lot of open discussion on industry issues.
  • No Formal Dinner Party at BiiG 2018 – This year we will try something different and take our signature event offsite for something fresh, fun and less formal. More information to come.
  • Tradeshow Times are Shifting – Tradeshow attendance always drops on the last day of the show. We understand, members want to go home after a long week away. This year, we are planning to open the show up on the Wednesday night, run it all day on Thursday and close it by 2 pm on Friday. This will allow you enough time to work the show floor and leave early enough to catch your flight home.

When will BiiG 2018 Registration Open?

We expect to open registration in September 2017.  Watch your email for more information and updates.

 

Amazon Coming to a Campus Near You

It’s not a matter of if, it’s when, and we can tell you, it’s soon!  Amazon is moving into Canada and we encourage stores to be prepared.

A couple months ago, CSC had a conversation with Elliott Welton who is Amazon’s business development and universities relations specialist. Our conversation was more of an introductory call to find out what Amazon’s plans are for entering into Canada. At the time, Elliott wouldn’t confirm any sort of timetable for entering into Canada but we knew they had already advertised to fill a job position in Canada for an “Area Manager – Canada Operations (University)”.

Amazon basically has 2 models. 1) working directly with the institution, and if they can’t get what they want working with the institution, they will 2) set up shop off campus. Their preference, of course, is to work with the institution either through a partnership with the bookstore, student store, athletics department, faculty or basically anyone who has space and willing to work with them. They want at minimum $3,000 sq. ft. of space which they say, will pay a premium for to be on campus. They will pay a license fee (rent) to the university or store for this space. 

Our take-aways from our short conversation with Amazon were as follows:
  • CSC needs to maintain open communication lines with Amazon to keep our members informed.
  • Member stores need to pay attention when Amazon set’s up in their city and more importantly, when Amazon starts conversations to be present on your campus.
  • Stores need to work with their institutions on this or Amazon will pit your store up against other business units on campus such as the student union, library or faculty.
  • If Amazon doesn’t get what it wants from the institution, they will look to compete directly by setting up shop just off campus.
Just this past week, Amazon contacted CSC looking for stores, particularly in Toronto and/or Vancouver, to do a pilot of Amazon Locker. Click here for an overview of Amazon Canada Locker. They are starting in these two major centres and confirmed they will eventually move into other major Canadian markets.

If you are interested in having your store be part of this pilot program, you can contact Elliott Welton directly by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  CSC just asks that you let us know and keep us informed through the process so we can share what you learn to other member stores across Canada.

Canadian Roundtable on Academic Materials (CRAM)

Founded in 2007 at the University of Alberta as a partnership between the Bookstore and Student’s Union, the Canadian Roundtable on Academic Materials was created as a collaborative effort to primarily address the high cost of course material and was built on 9 key principles with the goal “to ensure the existence of an ongoing medium through which the key parties can identify and implement ways of addressing the underlying issues”.
 
Reflecting on the changes of nearly a decade since CRAM was inaugurated, 2017 seemed appropriate to bring together institutional stakeholders in a forum to identify current issues, trends and opportunities to position as a collective voice for the institutions we serve. On May 17th, Campus Stores Canada led a CRAM session to address long term sustainably of academic materials as part of a holistic and comprehensive institutional approach.  There were four key desired outcomes from the session:
  1. Develop Elements of a 2025 Vision
  2. Explore viable business models to meet strategic direction
  3. Discuss top issues, threats, strengths and opportunities
  4. Create key message elements for communication and advocacy
It became clear from the outcomes that Canadian institutionally owned campus stores need to position their operations as part of a broader institutional course material strategy.

The session was led in collaboration with George Jackson and the Queen's Executive Decision Centre with support from the Canadian Campus Retail Associates (CCRA) and the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA). We had delegate representation from Canadian Heritage, Universities Canada, Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), eCampusOntario and BC Campus.
 
The Campus Stores Canada board met for their mid-year board meeting on the two days following CRAM and discussed action items related to the outcomes of our session including priorities and next steps which we will be working on through the month of June as we move into our next academic cycle. The CSC Board will be producing an Executive Summary of this meeting to share with all members. 

If you have specific feedback or questions relating to CRAM, please contact the CSC office or CSC Director, Shawn Gilbertson by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

CSC has a New Website!

A couple weeks ago, CSC launched a new website with new features we hope you will like and use (www.campusstores.ca). This site is more responsive to the various devices you use and we hope it will be easier for you to navigate.

As with any new website launch, there are small glitches we come across that we have to work out.  Sometimes you just have to use it to discover these things. We are working through that now so if you come across something that needs fixing or would make the site better, let us know.

There are a few features on this new site that we would like to highlight. These features all require you to log-in to the Members area. Once you login, you will see the links in the Members Only menu. These tools are new, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see a lot of information currently. That is where you come in. CSC hopes you will start using these new tools. The more they are used, the more valuable they will become. For now, let’s get familiar with them.

  1. CSC Forum (Available to Member Stores and Vendor Partners) – The CSC Forum is an unmoderated discussion board where members and vendors can post and interact with threads, so as to foster conversation and dialogue in the ongoing work we do. Feel free to post questions to fellow members, interesting news or research from the field, announcements regarding recent initiatives, or anything that comes to mind. 

    Store members will see two forums (Store Only Forum and Vendor Partner/Member Store Forum). Threads in the Store Only Forum are only available to member stores. Threads in the Vendor Partner/Member Store Forum are available to both member stores and vendor partners.

    To receive emails when new topics and threads are posted, subscribe to the categories and topics you are interested in.

  2. Document Repository (Store Members Only) – The Document Repository is a place for CSC members to upload and share files with other members. Vendor Partners do not have access to this resource. Members are encouraged to share sample job descriptions, marketing programs and kits, example contracts etc… CSC will be putting out regular calls for information and sample documents for you to upload. We hope you will participate in building a repository of helpful information we can share.

  3. Picture Repository (Store Members Only) – The Picture Repository is a place for CSC members to upload and share pictures of their campus stores. Share pictures of your displays, store renovations, signage, store promotions etc… You can browse through 1000’s of pictures right now.  Search pictures by institution or product type. Pictures are currently categorized by institution.  If you don’t see your institution, add it and upload pictures of your store. Make sure to “Tag” your pictures with keywords to allow other members to search and find them. Tags should include your institution, product, display type etc… Call the office anytime if you need help uploading new pictures.

  4. Email Lists (For Member Stores Only) – CSC Email Lists are set-up to accommodate networking and information sharing between related Store Roles in our member stores. (Managers, Book Buyers, and General Merchandise). This is not a new feature of the site, however we retained it for members who do find it useful. Our hope however is you will put your messages up on the CSC Forum to communicate with each other. That way discussion threads are kept and are available for future use and reference. If you are still interested in the email list, make sure you are subscribed to the list most applicable to you.

  5. Job Posting Form and Job Board - The Job Board is offered as a service to CSC Members to advertise vacancies within their organizations. Members can submit their job postings free of charge on the CSC website.

  6. Survey Tool (For Member Stores Only) – The CSC Survey Tool is coming soon. When launched, it will provide a full-functioning online surveying platform for use by all members, wherein results of surveys are accessible to all members. The system provides similar functionality to most surveying tools, and members can use it to post and curate their own multi-tier surveys. Note that for pulse-surveying (ie. one or two questions, max), members may use either this or the CSC Forum.

BiiG 2018

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Mark your calendars!  BiiG 2018 will be held in Niagara Falls, Ontario on January 30- February 2, 2018. Details for BiiG 2018 will be provided soon!

Campus Store Checkout

Checkout

Campus Store Checkout coming this spring! Campus Store Checkout will be a weekly selection of the top five news stories pertaining to the Canadian campus retail community.

CSC eNewsletter

CSC will be publishing three eNewsletters per year. These eNewsletters will serve as a deeper dive into the issues and trends our industry is facing.