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Suffolk University Bookstore Centralizing to Tremont Street

Big changes are coming to the Suffolk University bookstore on Cambridge Street.

Merchandise at the store is currently being transferred and combined with the Law School’s retail section at the store located on Tremont Street.

Likewise, the University bookstore will be selling all reading materials on Cambridge Street. This centralization is one of the improvements President Norman Smith has brought to Suffolk University. The news was announced to Suffolk’s staff in an employee newsletter last month.

“The move creates a venue selling a wide range of Suffolk-branded merchandise in one highly trafficked location on Tremont Street,” the newsletter read, “Thousands of tourists, residents, workers, and students pass by the location each day.”

By centralizing all Suffolk University and Suffolk Law merchandise in one popular location, the school hopes to increase sales and “heighten exposure” for Suffolk.

“I think they’re trying to build brand awareness, and I think they looked at this location as more central, [with] more foot-traffic, closer to the students, and more likely to just grab people off the street,” said Joe Basile, the bookstore manager.

Basile noted that the Law Bookstore already has a fairly high walk-in rate, whether it’s from a tourist looking for an umbrella or from a lawyer looking for a reference book. The positive is that the merchandise will draw in customers in need of a sweatshirt or souvenir, but moving all reading materials to the Cambridge Street location does risk losing customers interested in law study guides.

“It’s going to be a tight fit. That store down there is huge compared to this one,” said Basile, “So once we get things set up – the stuff we have to have set up – then we’ll take a look and see what we have for space as far as maybe keeping some of the study guides.

The loss of reference books also affects some of the law students, who are accustomed to being in the same building as the study guides they need to work with. With all reading materials on Cambridge Street, the law students would have a longer walk to reach these study guides.

“I think that’s going to be the area that will be toughest to meet the demand,” said Basile.

Basile noted that they’d especially like to make it as easy as possible for law students to pick up books ordered at the beginning of the semester. He’s considering arranging storage room either at the Tremont Street store or at 73 Tremont.

“Ideally we’d like to make it so that somebody doesn’t have to walk down there [to Cambridge Street] to get their books,” said Basile, “We’ll see what we can do about it, but that’s definitely one of our biggest hurdles.”

Despite this slight disadvantage to law students, the university is hoping to see some advantages in increased sales. The transfer of merchandise has already begun, with about a third of the Cambridge Street location’s stock moved into the Tremont Street store. Where they only had Law School gear before, the Tremont Street location is now also selling Suffolk University clothing, decals, and more.

“The plan is sometime after Thanksgiving to start getting a little more aggressive with bringing stuff over,” said Basile, “I think by the first of the year we should have 95% of the move done.”

The centralization of the bookstores will be complete by the start of the spring semester.

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