Although bad news for the students that stop in to grab an afternoon smoothie, necessary changes have been made in order to preserve revenue and ideally boost the efficiency of running the on-campus convenience store.
As of Monday, Oct. 26 the on-campus convenience store, The Market, scaled back their daily hours from 12 p.m. – 2 a.m. to 5 p.m. – 1 a.m. in an attempt to save money previously being lost in operation costs.
Although serving a different purpose from The Market, the real culprit behind the change is suspected to be the University Center.
“Once the University Center opened things shifted,” said Retail Service Dining Manager Laura Seay.
According to Seay, traffic dropped off at The Rock, The Market, and even lead to the closing of Between Chapters Café, previously located in FLITE library.
“This semester, now that summer happened and orientation was over here [near the UC]and everything else is over here, the traffic flow on campus is all over here,” said Seay. “Even The Rock’s lunch count has dipped and the Quad’s numbers have gone up.”
Although this change doesn’t impact everyone, particularly students that live off-campus or have a meal plan that doesn’t include Bulldog Bucks, those that do live close to the convenience store are a little perturbed.
“I think those hours are a little short and that now students will have to go off-campus during the day to get snacks and other accessories,” said Ferris marking freshman and Miller Hall resident Zach Ineson.
Despite the inconvenience of this change in hours for some students, there were a lot of factors that played into choosing the new hours.
“When we originally opened it was open 10 a.m. – 12 a.m.,” said Seay. “Kids don’t get up though and they have classes, so it was just nothing in those first two hours so then I rationed it back to noon because I know, my son is 21, and he’s up until four o’clock in the morning. So then I thought, well, we’ll stay open until two!”
One question many students are asking, Ineson included, is why not just lower prices to increase interest in The Market and, in turn, revenue?
“If you look at any convenience store, if you go to Wesco even, it is what it is,” said Seay. “The reason that prices are so high is because when you go to a grocery store, Walmart or whatever, they buy cases [of products]. I have to cut a case in a quarter so cost goes up. There are certain warehouses just for convenience stores, wholesalers … I can order six coffees instead of 24. 24 would go out of date and I would have to throw it away because we just aren’t a grocery store, it’s a convenience store.”