Chapters Inc. bookstores takes over the management of the McGill bookstore.
A contractual agreement between McGill University and Chapters Inc. to transfer the management of the McGill University Bookstore was approved by the executive committee of McGills Board of Governors earlier this week. The announcement was made by Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance) Phyllis Heaphy at todays meeting of the University Senate.
"Our community is very satisfied with the bookstore we have now," said Ms Heaphy. "But we believe that we can improve the level of service under this new arrangement. With the addition of Chapters and its innovative approach, we anticipate that satisfaction levels will climb even higher."
Discussions between the University and Chapters began in the summer of 1997. The University had previously received unsolicited offers from other companies to contract manage the Bookstore and an ad hoc workgroup was appointed by Vice-Principal Heaphy to consider and evaluate these various proposals. The workgroups report strongly recommended the proposal made by Chapters, a recommendation which was endorsed by a number of community groups, including the Students Society of McGill University (SSMU).
Under the agreement, Chapters Inc. will assume responsibility for the operations and finances of the Bookstore. The corporation has established a new division to oversee this area of business called Chapters Canadian University Bookstores Ltd. However, current McGill University Bookstore staff will remain McGill employees and all existing Human Resources contracts and agreements will continue to apply and be honoured.
"This was our best option," said Tara Newell, president of SSMU. "Im confident that this new relationship with Chapters will serve the interests of the students and the community." She added that the contract was "very thoroughly negotiated." As well, Chapters Inc. and McGill University are also working together to develop a scholarship program; details will be announced at a later date.
"Coupling the Chapters operation and merchandising expertise with an already great university bookstore will result in an outstanding facility," said Alan Charade, Director of Ancillary Services at McGill. "We envision the operation becoming the very best university bookstore in the country."
"We are very pleased that McGill is the inaugural bookstore in our new division," said Geoff Swift, Director of College Stores for Chapters. "Our goal is to provide outstanding service and selection to the McGill students, faculty and staff by maximizing our capabilities. We anticipate that in the near future we will be announcing similar management relationships with other Canadian university bookstores."
Founded in 1821, McGill is the oldest of the four Montreal universities. Located on two campuses McGill has nearly 30,000 students enrolled in twelve faculties and the Centre for Continuing Education.
Chapters Inc. is the largest book retailer in Canada and the third largest in North America. The company operates a total of 347 bookstores across Canada under the names Chapters, Coles, SmithBooks/LibrarieSmith, Classic Bookstores, The Book Company and the Worlds Biggest Bookstore.