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Friday, January 15, 2021

Campus

UH Campus Store experiencing reduced traffic during pandemic


The UH Campus Store has seen a decrease in in-store traffic and an increase in online orders during the fall semester. | File photo

The UH Campus Store has seen a decrease in in-store traffic and an increase in online orders during the fall semester. | File photo

The UH Campus Store has experienced a decline in in-store traffic during Fall 2020 in comparison to previous semesters.

The decline can be attributed to lower demand of physical materials in person due to classes relocating to remote formats.

“As expected, walk-in traffic has dropped due to the reduced number of students on campus,” said Matt Prasifka, program director for Auxiliary Services. “However, online orders have increased.” 

Although demand for shopping in-store has decreased, store associates have remained proactive in preventing coronavirus spread inside the business.

“We posted signage reminding patrons to wear face coverings and to keep an appropriate social distance, adding line markers throughout the store,” Prasifka said.

“In addition, hand sanitizer dispensers are located in multiple locations throughout the store. Associates are required to wear masks.  And as shipments arrive, they remain in so-called quarantine for 24 hours before being placed on the sales floor,” Prasifka added. 

Despite precautions implemented at the Campus Store, some students living off-campus do not plan to come in except as a last resort.

“I think that even if I had been put in a position where I was unable to find the e-text version and had to get a physical copy, I would probably try to look through other options before having to go in person given the current state of affairs,” said computer science senior Nicholas Scott.

For other students, entering the physical bookstore creates little concern.

“I would be willing to visit the (UH) bookstore, and if I’m on campus, I would stop by and visit,” said biology freshman Regan Dinh.

The Campus Store opened an additional temporary location in the Bayou City Room in Student Center South at the start of the fall semester for online order pickup.

The additional space intends to prevent overcrowding and long lines, especially rush periods of historically high traffic.

“Having the online pickup location within the student center, where our bookstore is located, helped to ensure the appointment/pickup process was smooth and efficient,” Prasifka said.

In addition to selling the standard UH merchandise, the bookstore will also be offering UH-branded personal protective equipment so that students can show off their Cougar pride while staying safe.

“The Campus Store is open and here to serve you! We offer a variety of face coverings with many options featuring the UH logo. We have personal protective equipment  available including a no-touch door opener and gloves,” Prasifka said. 

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