New convenience store has slow business
A new on-campus convenience store, The P.O.D. (Provisions on Demand) Express, opened in the Engineering Research Building this semester, and business has been slower than expected.
“Students still don’t really know that the store is there,” Raj Surinarain, Dining Services retail manager said.
Surinarain said this first month was a “soft opening,” and in the future they will have a grand opening for the P.O.D. Express. He said the store got off to an unexpectedly slow start and the current customer flow should increase after the grand opening and other means of advertisement.
“We are shooting for between 200 to 300 people into this location, at least, per day. That’s what we expected,” Surinarain said.
The store sells school supplies, drinks and some food items in the center of the Engineering Research Building, with tables and seating nearby.
Ramya Musani, P.O.D. Express employee, described business as fairly slow.
“This started a month back, and not many people know it’s here,” Musani said. “The environment is very good, very calm.”
Musani said the store typically gets 50 or 60 customers per day, composed mostly of students. She added that one reason business is slow is because the building is new, and not all the normal occupants are moved in.
Graduate student Poornima Mynampati said the P.O.D. Express is an excellent resource for students, and should be a more common luxury.
“I think every building should have this because it saves a lot of time,” Mynampati said. “I think they shouldn’t have to go to the UC every time. People should be able to grab whatever they want and continue with their studies.”
The prices are more or less the same as its sister store’s in the University Center, The Market Express, Mynampati said. She also said that while some convenience store prices are higher, the services they provide are worth the product cost.