New Laker Store offers more for students

Grand Valley students check out Allendale’s new bookstore on Tuesday, September 1, 2015.


Grand Valley students check out Allendale’s new bookstore on Tuesday, September 1, 2015.

Jess Hodge

Grand Valley State University’s new bookstore has been renovated, relocated and renamed to help create a better and more inviting experience for GVSU students.

The University Bookstore, now known as the Laker Store, is attached to the side of the P. Douglas Kindschi Hall of Science. Previously in the Kirkhof Center, the bookstore was quickly becoming too small for GVSU’s growing student population. The sales floor in Kirkhof spanned 8,000 square feet and was only one story. The new store’s sales floor is now over 15,000 square feet and stands three stories tall.

Jerrod Nickels, manager of the GVSU Laker Store, is excited about what the new store has to offer.

“The new store offers a much lighter, stimulating and visible environment than the old one,” Nickels said. “Because of our larger sales floor, we are able to offer a much larger selection of merchandise, wider aisles and an upgraded technology store, Laker Tech, which is also an Apple authorized campus store.”

The main floor of the newly-renovated building includes all of the GVSU merchandise and gifts, the customer service desk and checkout. The basement is where students can sell their books back or pick up the books they ordered online. There is also a copy center downstairs, which was formally located in the lower level of the Kirkhof Center. The top floor has textbooks, school supplies and Laker Tech, the new technology store. Laker Tech has iPads, iPhones, MacBooks, Dell laptops, Bluetooth speakers, Dr. Dre Beats and many more accessories such as cases, ear buds and charging cables. There is also a trained technology staff that can also offer assistance troubleshooting devices.

Sammie Glass, an employee at the Laker Store and a freshman at GVSU, is also enthusiastic about the changes that were made to the bookstore.

“It’s an open space that allows for a lot of fun things to happen,” Glass said. “I’m most excited about all the new clothing options that we have.”

Nickels, who has been the manager of the GVSU bookstore for 30 years, had been vying for a new bookstore for a few years until finally gaining support from his boss and the administration.

“The bookstore space in Kirkhof Center was built in 1973 for a much smaller student body,” Nickels said. “We liked the central location in Kirkhof, but there was no room for expansion so the idea of a new store attached to the science building was suggested.”

Nickels said he is happy about how the new space can benefit GVSU students.

“We think that we’ve created a space that complements our university,” Nickels said. “We believe that we have created a comfortable, inviting space that students will enjoy shopping in or just hanging out in between classes.”

Nickels hopes the new name lets people know that they sell more than just books and it identifies them “more with GVSU and campus life.”

Grand opening festivities for the new Laker store will take place from Wednesday, Sept. 16 through Saturday, Sept. 19. This includes special promotions going on that week, activities on Saturday and a ribbon cutting at 5 p.m. There is also a football game against Ferris State University that day, and Nickels hopes students will come to the bookstore to hang out before going to the game.

“We hope that students feel pride in the new store and what it has to offer,” he said.