Wolfpack Outfitters is the university’s official bookstore, providing students with school supplies, course materials and NC State merchandise.
Previously known as the Student Supply Store, the store changed its name to Wolfpack Outfitters when it moved into Talley Student Union in 2015, according to Jennifer Gilmore, director of marketing and communication at NC State. Prior to the construction of the new student union, the store existed in a standalone building. Wolfpack Outfitters also has a smaller location on Centennial Campus, located in Tower Hall.
Gilmore said Wolfpack Outfitters’ purpose is primarily to provide materials to students.
“The original intent of the bookstore was to provide course materials and school supplies to the students,” Gilmore said. “It was also understood that the vast majority of profits would go to support scholarships and student programming at NC State. As of the past few years, that dollar figure is somewhere around $300,000 annually.”
According to Jeff Halliburton, senior director of NC State’s retail services, almost all of the products sold at Wolfpack Outfitters come from vendor partners. The partners which Wolfpack Outfitters works with depends on the type of materials sold. On the licensed merchandise side, which includes clothing with the NC State logo on it, Wolfpack Outfitters works with Adidas, Champion and MV Sport.
On the course materials side, which includes new and used books, electronic books and course packets, Wolfpack Outfitters works with the publishers of those materials. On the gift and novelty side, such as NC State cups, flags and diploma frames, the store’s largest vendors include Spirit Products and University Frames, according to Halliburton.
“All of the vendors that sell anything with the State logo on it are required to be licensed through the University via [Collegiate License Company],” Halliburton said. “This allows the university to control the quality of the product, and it helps ensure that we collect a trademark royalty on that good.”
Gilmore said the revenue generated by the store goes back to students.
“These royalties are primarily used for scholarships, financial aid and student programming,” Gilmore mentioned. “So, when someone buys from Wolfpack Outfitters, both the royalty and the profit goes to scholarships and student programming.”
Halliburton said textbooks sales across the industry have gone down over the past decade, in terms of the number of units being sold. However, since more and more courses are transitioning to digital textbooks, the number of digital units being delivered has increased, which has helped stabilize sales. The apparel and gift business has gone up as well, which has also helped make up for the loss in textbook sales.
“We have had an evolution over the years as far as what we started out as,” Halliburton said. “In that evolution, we have transitioned from student supply stores to NC State bookstores.”