The Cornell Store Evolves from Campus Store to Full-Service Retailer

The Cornell Store, part of Cornell Retail Services, is a university-owned campus retailer with a history dating back to 1895, when a group of students started the Cornell Cooperative Society. The university took it over about 50 years later and today, the retailer operates seven locations in Ithaca, N.Y., and another in Manhattan. Cornell Retail Services sells academic materials, clothing and accessories, technology and more to students, faculty and alumni across the globe.


Cornell Retail Services


Ithaca, N.Y.






$25 million


Visual RATEX


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“People think of Cornell as a top-tier institution and we want to make sure their shopping experience meets that expectation as well. NetSuite helps us achieve that.” Fred Piccirilli, Senior Director, Cornell Retail Services

Adapting to a Dynamic Customer Base

Finding a new niche
The campus store grew quickly in its early years and that success carried into subsequent decades. When academic materials revenue started declining about a decade ago, Cornell Retail Services reimagined itself as a full-service retailer by selling more general merchandise (clothing, accessories and gifts), testing new product categories, adding new in-store services and running more promotions.
Campus store software hinders growth
As Cornell Retail Services’ business model changed and it sought to match the seamless shopping experiences offered by online and omnichannel competitors, the retailer's aging systems designed for textbooks held it back. Those systems presented only static data—which was sometimes inaccurate—and struggled to support rentals and ebooks.
A data-driven retailer
As part of Cornell Retail Services’ effort to become a modern, data-driven retailer, it implemented NetSuite’s campus store bundle to manage ecommerce, point-of-sale and back-end operations. The unified platform gave the campus store real-time visibility into the performance of products, along with an improved ecommerce site and more user-friendly point-of-sale system.
Driving campus retail’s future
Cornell Retail Services will continue to leverage the vast data in NetSuite to reduce operational costs and grow its two biggest channels: the flagship store and ecommerce. Access to product details, real-time inventory and more will also improve the customer experience for both in-store and online shoppers.


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