Wednesday, June 19

New stores, services find home in Ackerman


Reorganization results in downsizing of BearWear department

    Mauricio Medrano, one of the
owners of Campus Cuts, trims Rick Williams
hair. Campus Cuts is a full-service salon located on the A-level of
Ackerman.

By David King

Daily Bruin Contributor

ASUCLA officials are hoping the old adage that “change is
good” will hold true for Ackerman Union.

With expectations of greater sales and increased lease space,
ASUCLA’s student union has undergone reconfigurations in
services and layout.

“From a business standpoint, we always need to
change,” said Jerry Mann, director of the student union.
“What we’re doing is going to better utilize our square
footage.”

Changes to the A-level of Ackerman Union include the closing of
Papercuts, opening of Campus Cuts and Moby Disc, as well as the
addition of a Krispy Kreme storefront in the Cooperage.

B-level also underwent renovation, as employees rearranged
sections of the UCLA Store.

According to Mann, the A-level changes are a direct result of
student surveys conducted over the past few years.

    Some employees feel Fast Track’s new
location, near the UCLA Store’s north entrance, decreases its
visibility. A 1998 survey revealed a post office, music/CD store
and hair salon to be among the top ten services students
requested.

Mann said ASUCLA officials made such requests priorities in
reconfiguring the store. The post office opened in January, and
Campus Cuts, a full-service hair salon, opened on A-level of
Ackerman early September.

Privately owned by Hair on Campus, a national corporation,
Campus Cuts features six to eight workstations and is open every
day, according to owner Mauricio Medrano.

Medrano said though business has been slow, he expects the salon
to be busy when school starts and plans to eventually extend hours
for both walk-ins and appointments.

Michael Regalado, a fifth-year psychology student and one of
Campus Cuts’ first customers, said the hair salon was much
needed.

“It’s very convenient ““ I don’t have to
go down to Santa Monica Boulevard anymore for a haircut,”
Regalado said.

Also new on the A-level is Moby Disc, a new and used CD and
video store, in the 1,500-square-foot location formerly occupied by
Papercuts.

Mann was confident the store would open by zero week.

  PATIL ARMENIAN/Daily Bruin Senior Staff The Computer
Store is now partially hidden by the Fast Track clothing
department. Ackerman Union has undergone several changes.

He said the addition of both stores reflects ASUCLA’s
desire for an A-level that better serves students, while adding
dynamics to the entire union.

“We’re hoping it will bring some life and vitality
to the store, and we’d like to see A-level stay open
later,” Mann said.

But it is not only the A-level that has changed during the
summer months.

In response to an independent consultant’s report spring
quarter, which found that Ackerman Union devoted too much space to
retail and lacked in student services compared to student stores in
other colleges, ASUCLA officials are in the process of downsizing
BearWear and other clothing floor space.

“We realized we were going to need to compact the space we
had, and in doing so, we could free up space and offer other
services,” Mann said.

In the store, BearWear floor space decreased significantly,
along with the Computer Store, which Mann said has become a low
priority.

Because trends show students are buying more computers
off-campus, ASUCLA officials wanted the store to have less emphasis
on computers and technology, Mann said.

The changes to BearWear and the Computer Store have made room
for the new Adidas and Fast Track departments respectively, which
ASUCLA expects to boost store profits significantly.

“We’re hoping increased visibility and more access
to products will translate into sales,” Mann said.

He said Fast Track and Adidas products are generally impulse
buys, so putting them closer to the store’s entrance will
attract more customers.

“A lot of the time, you don’t come into the store to
buy a pair of socks or a sweatshirt, so that merchandise should be
displayed in the front,” Mann said. “You might not buy
them, but you will look at them.”

This was the case for Marjorie Budiman, a fourth-year economics
student who, on her way to B-level, purchased several items in Fast
Track.

Budiman said she had no intention of buying the items, adding
that the new layout makes browsing easier.

But Tiffany Butler, a customer service supervisor and
fourth-year English student, said the changes have actually
decreased sales.

“People tend to walk right by us,” Butler said at
the Fast Track counter by the store’s north entrance.
“I would have preferred that we hadn’t moved at
all.”

She said the downsized space has eliminated popular items such
as casual shoes and Ralph Lauren Polo products while frustrating
shoppers.

“It’s way too small and too cramped,” Butler
said. “Personally, I don’t like (the
changes).”

But other employees have found it easier to manage a smaller
floor space.

“We’re definitely a lot smaller now, but I like the
layout,” said Brandon Florian, a student supervisor in the
Computer Store. “It’s not such a huge area anymore that
we have to search.”

He said the only problem he’s encountered is some
difficulty for customers trying to find the Computer Store.

“A few people have made the comment that we’re
behind the bras and panties now, but that’s okay,”
Florian said.

Changes on the B-level floor allow room for additional leasing
space where Fast Track used to be.

ASUCLA officials are targeting several sporting goods stores or
athletic shoe stores as potential tenants in the 4,000 square foot
space.

“What we’re trying to find is a business
that’s complimentary, not contradictory to what we already
sell,” Mann said, adding that the space should be filled by
the first few weeks of fall quarter.

TOP TEN SERVICE REQUESTS ASUCLA surveyed 2,000
students (1,600 undergraduates and 400 graduate students) both
years to get an idea of what they want to see in Ackerman Union
1998 2000 1. Post office 1.
Music/CD store 2. Video rental 2. Video rental 3. Music/ CD store
3. Bowling alley 4. Pub 4. Pub 5. More study lounges 5. Dry
cleaning/Laundry 6. Billiards (Pool) room 6. Billiards (Pool) room
7. Computer lounge 7. Computer lounge 8. Hair salon 8. More study
lounges 9. Dry cleaning/Laundry 9. Additional Internet access 10.
Craft shop 10. Craft shop SOURCE: ASUCLA Student Union Director’s
Office Original graphic by HARSHA RAO/Daily Bruin Senior Staff. Web
adaptation by CHRISTINE TAN

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