After maintaining a strong presence in the San Luis Obispo community since 1996, Aida’s University Book Exchange has officially gone out of business and cleared out all merchandise. However, SLO Textbooks, a new bookstore and buyback center for Cal Poly and Cuesta students, has already taken over the lease in the same building.
“We intend to do the exact same thing (as Aida’s) as far as providing low prices and high buybacks,” SLO Textbooks General Manager Brendan Wood said. “From a customer standpoint, their experience will not change much. They can just know that we’re going to have the textbooks they need, better prices and the lowest buybacks.”
The shelves at SLO Textbooks have not been thoroughly stocked yet, but the business is currently open for student buybacks Monday through Saturday. A small amount of school supplies, including Scantrons and lined paper, are also currently available.
Wood does not anticipate a need to order large amounts of new textbooks for summer quarter. Many of the same classes were offered during spring quarter and buybacks will supply a large amount of the inventory. This means that a lot of the textbooks being sold over the next few months will be used.
“We can afford to pay higher prices on textbooks; we can afford to charge a little less than what you’re going to find at the on-campus bookstore,” Wood said. “Students can have confidence in that. Establishing trust is important and we definitely want to do that with our customers.”
Wood is the General Manager of LDL University Book Exchange. The company is based in Seattle, Washington and has similar locations in Seattle and Denver, Colorado. According to Wood, LDL has been familiar with the San Luis Obispo area and this particular location for a while and believed Aida’s customer base would provide a good market for a new bookstore.
Some students, who have found alternate ways of acquiring textbooks, are indifferent to the new bookstore.
“I would potentially go to (SLO Textbooks) if I got lazy and didn’t order them online,” business senior Ray Truman said. “At this point I don’t really trust the bookstores because they give you barely any money for textbooks and then sell them at close to full price.”
Wood is confident that SLO Textbooks will be a successful business. He contends that LDL is a very strong company and will provide plenty of backing and support.
“We know that the customer base is here,” Wood said. “When we were working very hard to just get the store open for buyback a day after signing the lease, we had people already knocking on the doors, 30 to 40 people a day. We do buyback at higher prices so the students’ overall perception has been great so far.
“What we’re really focusing on is making sure that the students know we’re here and we’re still open, just under a new name and that’s about it.”