On Tuesday, March 8th, the MIS department had the great opportunity to welcome Books-a-Million to AIMS for the first time! The MIS students had the pleasure of hearing from Cy Fenton and Kevin Brooks.
Books-A-Million is primarily located in the South-East, having 240 stores. They started in Florence, Alabama as a news stand in 1917. Today, they are known as one of the largest book retailers in North America.
While Books-A-Million is mostly known for their book stores, they have also been expanding in other areas. Cy and Kevin spoke of their recent acquisition of Yogurt Mountain. Books-A-Million has been replacing some of their Joe Muggs Cafés that are not performing well with Yogurt Mountains. Another way Books-A-Million has expanded their ventures is through creating a used book store chain, called 2nd & Charles.
One question on the students’ minds was the plan of Books-A-Million to stay profitable and increase their market share in light of one of their competitors, Borders, declaring bankruptcy on February 16th. Cy and Kevin responded that they would be purchasing some of the foreclosed stores, but they would not make any drastic changes to their business or business model in order to avoid being in the same financial situation as Borders.
More information about Books-A-Million can be found at http://www.booksamillioninc.com/ and information about full-time jobs and internships can be found at http://www.booksamillioninc.com/career/index.html.
The University of Alabama MIS program allows students to work on real projects that provide real value to real companies. Students learn to leverage people, processes and technology to solve problems and meet the challenges of today’s businesses head-on. For more information, call 205-348-5525 or visit http://cba.ua.edu/mis.