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New Digs for Smith Duds

News of Note

For the Smith College Bookstore, it’s all about location, location, location

"An image of Smith College's relocated Bookstore at 8 Green Street"

Published June 24, 2023

The Smith College Bookstore has seen the light. Literally. After occupying a subterranean space in the Campus Center for the past two decades, the store recently relocated to 8 Green Street, where floor-to-ceiling windows flood the newly renovated building with natural light.

“It was dark being at the bottom of the [Campus Center], not really seeing much of the outside world,” store manager Shari McDonald says. Green Street, on the other hand, is “a great location,” McDonald says. “I love all the light.”

What the bookstore gained in visibility, however, it lost in size. Its footprint shrank from 5,000 square feet to “maybe 2,000 now,” McDonald says. The biggest change? Students can no longer browse textbooks in person. Books are shelved in an employees-only area and must be ordered online.

Precious floor space is reserved for school supplies, sundries, and, of course, Smith-branded merch. “We sell a ton of merchandise, so we need as much as possible out there visible for everybody,” says McDonald, adding that the store does $1 million in annual sales. (It is among more than 1,200 bookstores managed by Follett, the largest campus store operator in North America.)

Bestsellers in the sea of blue and gold include a $60 Champion reverse-weave crewneck sweatshirt with the Grécourt Gates logo and a $24 Champion T-shirt that says “Smith College Football” on the front and “Still Undefeated” on the back—a perennial favorite. 

What’s in the Store?

  • Vintage-wash cropped T-shirt in mint ($30)
  • Plush keychain with elephant “buddy” ($9.95)
  • Laser-engraved rollerball pen ($16)
  • Magnetic clip with Smith College decal ($5.95)
  • Adjustable cotton twill ball cap in white ($24)
  • Aluminum keychain with bottle opener and LED flashlight ($8.95)
  • Cropped long-sleeve T-shirt in honey brown ($38)

 This story appears in the Summer 2023 issue of the Smith Alumnae Quarterly.

Photograph by Jim Gipe