Follett Corporation will add more than 200 college stores to its portfolio with its purchase of Nebraska Book Company’s retail store division, Neebo. The agreement brings the total number of college stores that Follett operates to more than 1,150 in North America, along with 1,600 virtual stores.
Under the terms of the agreement, Follett acquired both on-campus and off-campus stores, as well as related assets and inventory owned or leased by Neebo. Follett noted that it plans to hire Neebo’s store and retail field workforce and utilize many of its existing supplier networks.
Nebraska Book Co., which is headquartered in Lincoln, will cut 60 positions there, according to the StarJournal. Lincoln employs 800 people, depending on the season.
With sale of the college store group, Nebraska Book Co. said it will focus on independent stores nationwide by providing textbooks, strategic services, and technology products. It recently restructured its sales force to support consulting services to help local businesses improve their competitive position.
The store group has been Nebraska Book Co.'s largest division. In the nine month period ended December 31, 2014 the division had sales of $184 million; the textbook group had about $94 million in revenue. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.
“This transaction underscores our believe in the value of the physical campus store and the role it plays in adding to each institution’s brand and the local campus community experience,” said Ray Griffith, president and CEO of Follett.