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Barnes & Noble will manage Coop; store upgades planned

The Harvard Cooperative Society has announced that it is embarking on a major restructuring of its retail business at its Harvard Square and other stores in the Cambridge-Boston area.

As one of the key changes, Barnes & Noble Bookstores, Inc., a privately held company that operates campus bookstores, will manage the Coop's store operations.

In addition, the Coop and B&N will undertake a multi million-dollar capital investment program to reorganize, improve and upgrade the Coop's various facilities, especially its main store in Harvard Square.

All stores will continue to operate under the Coop name and the Coop will remain actively involved in the general management of its business, the announcement said.

The Coop also will continue to operate on a cooperative basis and expects to be able to renew the payment of patronage dividends to its members in the near future.

Barnes and Noble will assume its responsibility in phases, coinciding with the restructuring/capital investment program, which the Coop expects to be completed by mid-1996.

Over the next several months, the Coop, working with B&N, will begin to concentrate its business in the areas of books, insignia merchandise, stationery and other supplies, and prints and other merchandise for the academic communities served by the Coop and will discontinue a number of other portions of its business.

In addition to the main store, the Coop operates stores at the Harvard Law, Harvard Medical and Harvard Business Schools and two stores serving the MIT community in Kendall Square and the Stratton Student Center. Founded in 1882, the Coop's annual revenues exceed $50 million.

William R. Dickson, senior vice president of MIT and chairman of the Coop, said: "Harvard and MIT deserve a world-class bookstore system. The Coop's mission is to be that resource for these academic communities."

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 13, 1995.

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