John Smith’s has a proud and distinguished history of selling books which stretches back to 1751 but the company is now far more than a simple bookselling business.
Our core market is the Higher Education sector which has been undergoing dramatic changes over recent years, including the introduction of new fee regimes and increasing moves towards digital and online learning. In line with this changing environment, JS is now positioned as a 'Solutions Provider’ for the sector, supporting universities in meeting the new demands and delivering their strategic objectives, not just in terms of core student book provision (including now in digital format) but also other key areas such as recruitment, student experience and even employability.
However, the student learning process remains at the very heart of what we do and so many of our core services are based around student textbook provision:
· Reading Lists
· Unique offers and bundles
· Lecture presentations (such as First Lecture book talks)
· Start-of-term bookstalls
· Departmental credit sales
· Special orders
· Regular feedback to lecturers and departments
These core services are complemented by other essential learning materials including stationery and IT consumables, etc, whilst in some locations our offer also now features more general 'student lifestyle’ products such as 'grab and go’ food and university-branded merchandise.
In addition, we now work with many institutions to help deliver targeted bursary funding via the innovative Aspire framework which has led us into new areas such as:
· Card registration
· Extended product ranges
· Online ordering and fulfilment
· 1-1 targeted marketing campaigns
· Relationships with 3rd party vendors
Key to the success and attractiveness of the JS model is the fact that (unlike some competitors) we continue to operate full-time year-round campus shops which enables ongoing engagement and liaison with lecturers and other university staff throughout the academic year.
Our online channels are also becoming increasingly important and this year will again see significant investment to deliver enhanced content and functionality for our locally branded website pages. New websites are being run in conjunction with the increasing numbers of Higher Education universities we now work with - where there is not always a bookshop on-site now.
The university sector continues to change and John Smith’s must continue to adapt and innovate to ensure that our portfolio of local and national services remains relevant and persuasive. But the core of our business and of our role on every campus remains supporting students on their journey through university towards a degree and then a successful career.
The John Smith and Son Group also includes:
Hammicks Legal Information Services - who provide specialist services to the legal practitioner and librarian. Visit the Hammicks Legal Information Services website.
Background: Hammicks Legal Information Services has been serving the legal profession since 1968 when the business was founded by Charles Hammick. Originally a bookshop in Chancery Lane, then in Fleet Street - Hammicks Legal Information Services has grown into a full service information provider to government, the Bar and law firms. We still have the largest and most comprehensive Law books website. In addition, we also serve customers direct through our subscription management services and our team of account managers.
John Smith International - who deliver a retail solution for universities in Botswana, and other universities within sub-Saharan Africa, ensuring that their students are equipped with the right books and materials to progress through their studies. Visit the John Smith's International website.
Background: John Smith International runs university and polytechnic bookshops in Africa with operations currently in Botswana, but also serving students in other parts of sub-Saharan Africa. We are committed to developing our business in Africa as we are excited about the energy, opportunity and growth of these markets.