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WRITER: ABBY GARLAND
CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
e-mail: melvin-shaw@uiowa.edu

Release: April 19, 2000

Virtual Book Store's first year comes to a close

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- As the school year draws to a close and University of Iowa students begin studying for finals, the University Book Store takes on the task of reviewing its first year of being online.

The e-commerce move was in response to the evolving consumer online shopping preferences created by the Internet. The e-commerce feature is the latest enhancement to the Book Store's Web site, created five years ago. Until the beginning of this school year the site only listed trade books and limited online patrons to UI apparel purchases.

George Herbert, manager, University Book Store, and Paul Seelau, manager of the Virtual Book Store, agree that overall it has been a successful year and they have high hopes for the future.

Responses have been very positive to the Virtual Book Store, Seelau says. In fact, orders have been received from 39 different states and three foreign countries, including Africa, Korea and Canada.

"We want to combine the best of the virtual and brick and mortar stores," Herbert says. "This is what our customers want and that's why we're doing it."

The Web site currently offers UI textbooks online for either pick-up in the store or shipping for only $4. In addition to textbooks, apparel, and special order trade books, CDs can be purchased online. Further, all their currently available software is listed with prices. The Health Science Store also offers health science book purchases online.

The e-commerce Web site can be accessed at http://www.book.uiowa.edu