Construction workers are putting the finishing touches on a newly renovated LifeWay Christian Store, home of Union University’s campus bookstore.
The renovations include an expanded section for Union apparel and gifts, a more open floor plan, aesthetic updates throughout the store and changes to the bookstore’s website.
The remodel started in early June and should be completed within the next few weeks. The remodel was funded completely by LifeWay.
LifeWay has held a presence on campus since 1998 and has occupied its current location, the first floor of Hammons Hall, since 1999.
“We have been here for 15 years, and the store was starting to look pretty outdated,” LifeWay store manager Andy Morris said. “Our main goal was to make it feel more like Union’s bookstore.”
One of the store’s more noticeable changes is a large Union seal on the floor just inside the front door.
“My first impression was I like the entryway much better,” said Ellen Howard, sophomore English major. “It is a lot neater and more professional,”
A large emphasis of the remodel was to enhance the selection of Union apparel and gifts for the university community. With the more open floor plan and arrangement of LifeWay’s inventory, there is now a larger section of the store designated for Union merchandise. Even with more open space and more Union merchandise available, the amount of LifeWay merchandise has not changed.
Lifeway management is always seeking feedback from members of the Union community regarding what they would like offered in the bookstore or available on the website. Morris said anyone can email him at email@example.com to set up a meeting.
Although the bookstore is owned and operated by LifeWay Christian Bookstores, Morris said they are truly in a partnership with the university.
“We are representing Union just as much as we are LifeWay, so we always want to make sure we are doing so well,” Morris said. “We want a place where students, faculty and alumni can come and feel like they are still on campus.”
The store is not the only thing that was updated. The bookstore’s website, a main resource for students to find and purchase textbooks, is constantly being updated as well. Morris said things will continue to be added for purchase on the website, even if there is not room to make them available in the store.
The website now allows students to rent textbooks for the semester at prices comparable to other third-party websites.
Union recently renewed their contract with LifeWay for the next ten years.