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Convience Store: A Business Perspective

By Peter Adams
On March 14, 2012

s cliché as it may sound, much of what we learn in life comes outside of a classroom setting. I could tell you exactly how to make everything on the menu of the restaurant I worked at during
high school, but I would be speechless if you asked me to explain what I learned in calculus during my freshman year. That's not to say that the core classes we have aren't worth anything, as that has already been discussed ad nauseam earlier this year.
So if extracurricular activities
are really what enhance our college experience, why not allow whatever replaces Flix to be run by students? From the beginning, Flix was a solid idea. It appealed to virtually every student, was affordable and convenient for students unlike their competitors.
However, times have changed drastically. The emergence
of Netflix and Redbox has ultimately made it impossible for the traditional video store to remain competitive due to economies of scale (Econ 200 reference; I didn't forget everything).
Blockbusters across the country have been forced to liquidize. Clearly, the failure of Flix was not a lack of effort or skillset from the students in control. So what should replace Flix? I'm sure the administration would like to devote the space to public relations or admissions, but for the sake of argument I'm going to assume they might want the spot to reach its full potential for current
students, and allow students an opportunity to flaunt their entrepreneurial skills. Why not approve a student-run convenience
store?
One run by eFollett would be as helpful to students' finances as taking retirement advice from Bernie Madoff. I remember purchasing shaving cream and a razor from the bookstore my freshman year and was tempted to ask for financing while I checked out. The lack of a convenience store is something that has been noticeably inconvenient to myself, and I would guess to many of my classmates too. Yes, the bookstore does have some necessities, but at what cost?
The lack of choices is also a weakness of the bookstore. Milk, cereal, bread, fruit, juices and -the cash crop of colleges
across the country - Ramen Noodles, are nowhere to be found.
I acknowledge that many of these products may have a limited shelf life, but even if only five percent of the on-campus population
uses the store each week, it would be reasonable to assume that it would have no trouble turning over product at risk of expiring.
Secondly, even though GSC does not see the foot traffic it used to, it's really easy to explain. Students now have a new place to study (CLC) and a new place to eat (Currito). Gallagher has become a "victim" of the capitalistic
society we live in. However, unlike dining and studying, there is no place to get a box of cereal at 10 p.m. on a Wednesday night. Also, it should be very easy for a new convenience store to be very competitively priced. The items that would likely be sold would naturally create a high profit margin. So shaving the prices of a bottle of Coke or bag of chips would still leave plenty of room for the store to remain in the black.
One of the most recent endeavors undertaken by Xavier students, Campus Solutions, has been very successful. This vacancy is a great opportunity for Xavier to give students the opportunity for great hands-on experience that is responsible for so much of the growth that takes place during college.
Giving students this opportunity
would build on an already highly touted entrepreneurship
program that is present at Xavier. With the strong business program and knowledgeable students, there is no reason to question whether business-minded students could make a convenience store a success.


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