New Loper Spirit Shop offers a wider range of UNK gear – UNK News
KEARNEY — The new Loper Spirit Shop only opened three weeks ago, but you can already see the campus impact of the University of Nebraska on the Kearney campus and throughout the community.
Students, staff, faculty, alumni and other supporters of UNK look forward to visiting the revamped store at the Nebraskan Student Union, which now offers a better selection of clothing and merchandise for those looking to show their Loper pride.
“The response was really positive,” said manager Len Fangmeyer. “Everyone is excited about the new graphics and styles, as well as the variety of merchandise available. We get more items every day, so people check in 2, 3, 4 times a week to see what’s new.”
The transition away from Barnes & Noble, which operated the former Antelope Bookstore, allows the university to oversee general merchandise and apparel at the on-campus store. UNK Communications and Marketing partners with Spirit Shop to help grow the Loper brand.
“We now have more creative control over the products we buy and the designs we offer,” said Kyle Means, UNK’s director of marketing. “Customers are already commenting on the nicer clothes and more competitive prices, and the Loper pride I see in the community is brighter, fresher, and overall better than I’ve seen in a long time.”
The Loper Spirit Shop features national clothing brands such as Under Armour, Champion, Antigua, University Girl and League-Legacy, as well as items from local suppliers. There are even some designs from Kearney State College.
Fangmeyer said feedback from UNK students, staff and other customers is an important part of the decision-making process, so he plans to organize focus groups to generate new ideas and ensure the Loper Spirit Shop is meeting campus and community expectations .
“Word of mouth is the best publicity you can get. When students and community members are excited and committed to something, that creates even more excitement and interest,” said Fangmeyer, who already works with local businesses who want to order their own UNK gear.
Affordability is another focus, with items available at a variety of price points. For example, the store currently has a two-for-$25 deal on certain t-shirts. Previously, the cheapest shirts were $25 each.
In addition to clothing for children and adults, the Loper Spirit Shop offers a wide range of merchandise and gifts – water bottles, golf balls, blankets, coffee mugs, dog bandanas and leashes, license plate frames, stuffed animals, footballs, stickers and more items featuring the UNK and Loper -Head logos are marked. School supplies such as notebooks, calculators, headphones, staplers and pens are also sold there.
“Our vision extends beyond the walls of this store,” said Fangmeyer. “We’re trying to get our name and logo out there so people are talking about UNK all the time.”
UNK also plans to set up a Spirit Shop location at Cope Stadium for home soccer games and an online store will open soon.
“The Loper Blue and Gold is a strong brand and as we expand our reach across the region, our brand will only grow stronger,” said Means. “Hopefully this will lead to growth for the university as a whole.”
UNK ONLINE BOOKSTORE SAVES STUDENTS $235,000
There is one notable item that students will not find on the shelves of the Loper Spirit Shop – textbooks.
As part of the transition, UNK has partnered with Akademos to launch a new online bookstore this summer. Instead of buying their textbooks and course materials directly from the on-campus store, students now use a digital platform that saves them time and money.
“It was a big change and I think some students were a little nervous about it, but we’re already seeing the benefits,” said Michael Christen, director of business services at UNK. “Our primary focus is to help students and make education more accessible to them, and the online bookstore helps us achieve that goal.”
The UNK Online Bookstore offers both physical and digital textbooks with new, used and rental options. After logging in with their MyBlue username and password, students can access a personalized course page, automatically linked to their timetable, so they can see the textbooks and course materials they need this semester.
Akademos offers a price guarantee on all new books and there is a marketplace where students can buy and sell books at discounted prices. Purchases can be delivered to campus or to a student’s home address free of charge.
Students who purchased books before August 27 had the option to charge up to $500 to their MyBlue account.
“As a result, we’ve seen a sharp increase in book orders,” Christen said. “This option allowed many students to have their books by the start of class instead of waiting until their next paycheck.”
More than 50% of UNK students have used the online bookstore since it opened on July 5, a significant increase from the 37% who used Barnes & Noble’s legacy ordering system. The change has saved students $235,000 so far.
If students need help, the Loper Spirit Shop staff are available to answer questions and help them with their purchase.
“I’ve heard a lot of good comments from students about how easy it is to order,” said Fangmeyer. “It’s such a good system that it literally takes less than five minutes to order your books.”
For more information about the Loper Spirit Shop and the UNK Online Bookstore, call 308-865-8555 or email [email protected]