The Independent College Stores Report (ICSR) is a joint project of ICBA and the Large Stores Group (LSG), and represents the most comprehensive financial survey of independent stores. The data reported in the ICSR offer a current snapshot of the independent college store channel and reflect the trends that are redefining our businesses.

Many members use the data as part of their effort to evaluate the performance of their stores and to plan strategy for the future. While performance goals and business objectives will vary from store to store, the ICSR offers comparative data that you can use to measure your progress and set benchmarks for key performance indicators.

The ICSR data and results are confidential and are available only to ICBA Members and LSG Members who formally submit their store's ICSR Survey data.



The 2020 ICSR Financial Survey has closed and the 2020 Report was released. If you completed the 2020 Survey and did not receive a copy of your report, or aren't sure how to access it, please email us at ICSR@ICBAinc.com.

Watch for details about the 2021 Survey in Fall 2021.


Each year, the ICSR Awards Committee reviews ICSR Survey results in each product category and identifies stores that have achieved sustained high performance. The Awards Committee considers sales, gross margin, inventory turns, and other key performance metrics. The Committee also interviews the management teams at these high performing stores to get additional insight into strategies and decisions that led to success. The ICSR Awards are announced and award-winning stores are recognized at the Annual ICBA Conference.

Award Categories Include:

Congratulations to the 2020 ICSR Award Winners!

Excellence in Course Materials Management

Appalachian State University, University Bookstore

From 2015-16 to 2019-20: 

  • Increased overall sales by 14%
  • Consistently increased over the period covered
  • Inventory turns of 5.3
  • Driven by a unique rental program

Excellence in Technology Product Management

McGill University, McGill University Bookstore

From 2015-16 to 2019-20: 

  • Increased technology product sales 89% over 5 years
  • Increased margin
  • Increased turns

Outstanding Insignia Product Performance

York University, York University Bookstore

From 2015-16 to 2019-20: 

  • Increased insignia product sales 59% over 5 years
  • Increased each year
  • Margin increased by 7%

Excellence in Expense Management

North Dakota State University, NDSU Bookstore

From 2015-16 to 2019-20: 

  • Sales up from prior year
  • Expenses down 21% from prior year
  • 2015 expense/sales = 30.2%
  • 2020 expense/sales = 19.7%

Excellence in Store Management

Brigham Young University - Idaho, University Store

From 2015-16 to 2019-20: 

  • Increased book sales over 5 years
  • Decreased expenses by $300,000 over 2 years
  • Corresponding Net Income Increase of $900,000