McGill’s bookstore is changing names and changing places.
Now to be called Bookstore/Librairie Le James, the retail facility that supplies books, study materials and McGill-branded merchandise will soon set up shop in two locations: an academic-oriented store 3544 avenue du Parc, across the street from New Residence Hall, and a lifestyle-oriented shop at 680 Sherbrooke St., adjacent to the entrance of 688 Sherbrooke, in premises that used to house a copying store.
The moves will be completed before the start of the fall term, said the bookstore’s manager, Jason Kack.
“Located in the heart of the Milton-Parc community, the academic store will offer course materials and lab supplies, general books, stationery and other goods,” Kack said. “The lifestyle store on Sherbrooke St. will carry all the McGill branded-merchandise, Continuing Education textbooks, computers and accessories, as well as stationery and convenience goods that you’ve come to expect.”
Kack also stressed the degree to which more and more bookstore business is being transacted online.
“We are also revamping our web store, which will include more products and allow the option for online purchases to be picked up from multiple locations,” he said. “In addition to the two new stores and the MacDonald Campus store, our community will have at least two other on-campus locations to choose from during busy times of the year, to pick up online purchases. And we’ll always throw in free shipping across Canada for online orders of $40 and more.”
The move is made necessary by the Desautels Faculty of Management’s expansion from its adjacent Bronfman Building location to add space for its Masters programs.
Associate Vice-Principal (Facilities Management and Ancillary Services) Robert Couvrette explained the reason for the bookstore’s division.
“These locations were selected because, between them, they provide us with enough space to meet our students’ and staff needs. Both locations are adjacent to campus, and easily accessible by foot, bicycle and public transportation,” he said.
The new McGill retail experience will be complemented with a pop-up location in the form of a large trailer that will operate in different areas around the downtown campus for weeks at a time to better meet the community’s changing needs.
In addition, the store’s administrative personnel will be housed in space being made available in the McGill building at 3465 Durocher St., not far from either retail location.
As for the name change, the bookstore undertook an extensive consultation process earlier this year and the emergent consensus was Le James.
“Our old name has served us well, but it no longer reflects who we are.” Kack said. “McGill University Bookstore, is a description of what we were created to be. However, over the years, we’ve expanded our selection of products and services to meet our community’s diverse and growing needs.
“While we are proud to sell books, in various formats, we also offer a wide range of McGill-branded products, clothing, frames, and gifts, as well as computers and accessories, stationery, snacks, and more. We’ve also had the pleasure of hosting many great events, and now offer an event registration service as well. We do more than sell books and we need a name that reflects that,” he said.
“We wanted our new name to evoke our legacy and heritage, while describing a contemporary space where our community can find a wide variety of products and services. A place with a name,” Couvrette said. “James, of course, is the name of our University’s founder and using it is a tribute to his importance. The ‘Le’ in front, is a nod to our identity as an English institution in a francophone province. As a name, ‘Le James’ offers us more flexibility to evolve by not simply describing what we sell and what we are.
“We hope our new name will inspire people to think about all the great McGillians, past and present, who have built the reputation of this prestigious institution.”
“The Bookstore Facebook page is where we’ll be posting all the latest news and updates on naming, logo, store design, new products, new ways to shop and new ways to buy books and merchandise,” Kack said. “You can also find an FAQ on our new web store at lejames.mcgill.ca.”