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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UA students operating new store in Park Place

    Family studies and human development senior Carlos Chavez stacks shirts yesterday at the new A-Store in the Park Place Mall.
    Family studies and human development senior Carlos Chavez stacks shirts yesterday at the new A-Store in the Park Place Mall.

    With the grand opening of a new “”A-Store”” in the Park Place Mall going on yesterday through tomorrow, students, alumni and sports fans living in east Tucson now have a more convenient location to buy Wildcat gear.

    The store doesn’t just sell UA apparel and gifts – it is also run and operated by current UA students, said Melinda Burke, director of the Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing.

    Students working in the store are part of the Students in Free Enterprise program, which the center sponsors, she said. Employees earn both class credit and a paycheck.

    The Park Place Mall store is the second “”A Store”” of its kind. The other is located in the Tucson Mall.

    “”Student employees are gaining experience in everything from designing and ordering products to visual marketing,”” Burke said.

    Business has been steady since the store opening, said Carlos Chavez, a family studies and human development senior and a store sales representative.

    “”We see a wide variety of customers,”” he said. “”We’ve been selling a lot of shirts for football game days, especially to alumni.””

    Chavez said he enjoys the experience of working solely with UA students.

    “”You can talk to people about homework if you need to, and everybody is in the same position,”” he said.

    Students are allowed to work until they graduate, but must work a minimum of at least one semester, Burke said.

    Former Tucson Mall “”A-Store”” employee Kari Steffens, a 2007 alumna, worked at the Tucson Mall store for three semesters.

    “”It’s such a different kind of program because you get to see all the details of how a store is run and each student has so much responsibility,”” she said. “”It’s such a great experience, and I think it helped me get my job after graduation.””

    The Tucson Mall “”A-Store”” generated $450,000 in sales for the 2006-2007 fiscal year, Burke said. The Park Place store will have a similar goal of $500,000 for the 2007-2008 fiscal year.

    The two stores are expected to be on par in terms of sales revenue, Burke said.

    Despite the success of the Tucson Mall store, Burke said she does not think a third store will be opened in the future.

    “”Two stores really saturates the market for us,”” Burke said. “”It works well with the number of students in our program.””

    Park Place Mall is at 5870 E. Broadway Blvd., and Tucson Mall at 4500 N. Oracle Road.

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