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Gearing Up For Gameday
by Cody Moore, photography by Kayla Broadway

For the past 10 years, Textbook Brokers of Jonesboro has been devoted to supplying college students with affordable textbooks and excellent customer service. With football season in full swing, students and fans alike can visit the establishment to stock up on the latest A-State apparel and accessories.

Locally owned by Bobby Lorimer, Textbook Brokers opened in 2008 and is part of a franchise that includes more than 60 different locations. Lorimer decided to open the Arkansas-based business in order to give students an opportunity to save money on their textbooks, benefiting them in the long run.

Buying books can be a pain point for students,” said Lorimer. “Our staff works tirelessly to make sure A-State students get the best deal on their textbooks in order to save money for future college expenses.”

The college textbook destination only employs college students and A-State alumni in order to achieve a more college-based atmosphere. Rocky Wilson, who started working for the business when he was a student at A-State, currently works as Textbook Brokers’ manager.

“I was a senior in the College of Business at A-State when Bobby hired me for a part-time job,” said Wilson. “To this day, we’re still always actively seeking new students to join our team, or what we call our TBB family.”

In addition to textbooks and supplies, the business took on selling a wide range of apparel when it moved to a new location in 2011. As the A-State community and campus continued to grow, the thriving business felt as if it needed to, as well.

“We ended up buying the other off-campus competition called Wolf Bookstore, which was right next door to where we were at the time,” said Wilson. “Wolf Bookstore already carried apparel, so that addition was a new adventure for us.”

The acquisition allowed Textbook Brokers to bring in a variety of apparel options, such as A-State sportswear, men’s wear, women’s boutique clothing, infant wear and much more. The business offers several popular brands in their store including Adidas, Nike, Under Armour, Antigua, Camp David, CI Sport and 47 Brand.

After seeing an increase in apparel sales, Lorimer and Wilson continued to add even more A-State-themed merchandise to the shelves throughout the years.

“We now carry anything from tailgate tents, decals, hats, jewelry, sunglasses, foam fingers, koozies and pom poms,” said Wilson. “You name it, we probably have that item with an A-State logo on it.”

Each season, Textbook Brokers updates its merchandise with the latest A-State trends, giving customers a fresh, new product to see once they enter the doors.

“I’m proud to say that Textbook Brokers has been the number one retailer for A-State over the past few years,” said Wilson. “I believe it’s simply just our selection, price and location.”

What are the biggest trends in fan apparel for the current football season?
Wilson: Our most popular trend for A-State fans is our Adidas sideline gear. Everyone wants to wear exactly what the coaches and players wear; we’re always happy to oblige. As for the ladies, we’ve started carrying more boutique-style shirts for game days. These shirts consist of cute game day sayings or vintage-style logos like Runnin’ or Jumpin’ Joe.

How far in advance does Textbook Brokers start working on styles for fall?
Wilson: Many of our vendors require us to order our apparel a year in advance, but we’re always looking at new trends to help stay current.

Where does Textbook Brokers get ideas for new clothing designs?
Wilson: It’s really a team effort. Mostly, it’s myself and the college employees deciding what logos to put on all the branded apparel. All the boutique-style shirt ideas come from my beautiful wife, Kassie. She’s big on fashion, so she keeps up on all the new trends.

Will Textbook Brokers be adding any new brands to the apparel section?
Wilson: Yes, we always carry new brands and items in our store. As for this year, you’ve got to come by the store to check it out for yourself.

Do you find A-State alumni shopping for Textbook Brokers apparel?
Wilson: Yes; we offer a 25-percent discount on apparel to all A-State Alumni Association members, so we’re always happy to see and talk to them.

What is something about Textbook Brokers that you want A-State students to know?
Wilson: We strive to be your one-stop shop for everything A-State. We have the cheapest textbooks and best selection of A-State apparel. We also have storage units and Penske rental trucks.

What does the future hold for Textbook Brokers of Jonesboro?
Wilson: We’re very appreciative of A-State and all of our customers over the last 10 years. As A-State continues to grow, we hope to do the same by continuing to serve the institution and its students. The chancellor at A-State, Dr. Kelly Damphousse, uses the hashtag #forward, and Textbook Brokers is adopting that same idea.

Textbook Brokers, located at 2106 E. Johnson Ave., is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call (870) 935-2325, visit jonesborobooks.com or find Textbook Brokers on Facebook.