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David Fonoimoana comes to manage Bookstore

david fonoimoana.jpg

As BYUH’s Bookstore came under new management, students said they hope to see lower textbook prices and a wider variety of products. David Fonoimoana, a native of the Laie community, is excited to be back in his home town and managing the bookstore he grew up going to.Serg Oyungerel, a freshman from Mongolia studying accounting, was adamant in his desire for cheaper textbooks. “Lower the book’s prices. That’s what I want.” When asked about possible cheaper textbooks in the future, Fonoimoana responded with a laugh and said, “I’ll be honest. Being that I just started, I’m still kind of absorbing what we have here, so I don’t want to make any big promises or changes.” Fonoimoana described the challenge of pricing textbooks at the Bookstore is because of competitors such as Amazon, EBooks and students reselling their books. “We are competing with people who don’t have the administration’s costs so it’s a little bit different.” Fonoimoana acknowledged the students’ concerns but couldn’t give any consolation at this point in time. “It’s just part of finding our niche,” he continued. “We have to figure out what is most important to the students and at a price that is competitive with everyone else nearby or anywhere in general.” In an effort to reach student customers, Fonoimoana said he hopes to work with BYUH students in adding student-designed T-shirts to the merchandise. “Students are the ones who know what other students like,” he said. To reach the customers who are members of the community, Fonoimoana said he hopes to expand the church materials merchandise in the back of the bookstore. Though some students associate the bookstore with overpriced books, Autumn Butler, a freshman from Florida studying business, said she has had an enjoyable experience in the bookstore. “I like it,” said Butler. “They do a lot of sales, like the one during Christmas time was pretty great.” Butler said she hopes the bookstore will continue to do similar sales in the future. Fonoimoana grew up in Laie and attended Kahuku High School as a freshman and sophomore but moved to Utah to finish out his junior and senior year. He attended BYU in Provo for his undergraduate studies and graduated with a degree in business. After college, he worked for Target for seven years, traveling to Washington, Alaska and finally helping to open the first target in Hawaii. He has been working at the Polynesian Cultural Center for the past year and is studying for an MBA at the University of Hawaii. Nathan Nartker, a recent business graduate from BYUH, has been working in the Bookstore since 2013 and said he is excited to work with Fonoimoana. “David seems like a charismatic and very nice individual. He is eager to learn and I can tell that he wants to improve what we are doing here to help get the store launched or get it to an even better position.” Uploaded Feb. 5, 2015
Writer: Kaitlin Broyles~Multimedia Journalist