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Bookstore, box office relocate Stores extend their services to McCullough annex

By Middlebury Campus

Author: Annie Onishi

On Oct. 10, Middlebury students may have noticed a change at the McCullough Student Center – what was once an unused coat closet had suddenly become home to the Center for the Arts (CFA) Box Office and a small branch of the Middlebury College Store.

Over the summer, simple renovations were made to the storage space near the lower entrance to The Grille and Juice Bar, around the corner from Midd Xpress. A hole was cut in the wall to create the Box Office and shelves were installed to convert the closet into a space more appropriate for retail.

Manager Bob Santry said of the new branch, “We had nothing to lose; it didn’t cost us a penny,” referring to the low cost of renovations, the fact that the College Store branch does not increase labor costs and the $600 profit the store made in its first week of business.

According to Santry, the branch sells mainly “impulse items” like Middlebury clothing, stickers and postcards. It is geared toward the tours and other visitors to Middlebury, as McCullough is a heavily trafficked area by non-students. Santry also added that the Proctor location is out of the way of tours, and that the hill between it and McCullough provides a “visual barrier” that preventis what could be more business.

There is a small selection of products solf, but no overlap between the twosbranches. Santry said, “I think there may be one item in common between the two stores. They are not mirror images of each other.” He added that the satellite is not meant to compete with Midd Xpress: “It would be silly to have the things mirroring Midd Xpress when it’s right on the other side of the wall. [The new branch] sells strictly Midd merchandise.”

The new CFA Box Office also opened Oct. 10. The new location is replacing the one at CFA as the main branch, as the latter is now considered the satellite, according to CFA Box Office Manager Debby Anderson. At the new McCullough installation, tickets ordered online are printed or tickets can be purchased in person.

Anderson said, “A more central location here in the Grille affords better exposure to all the ticketed events on campus.” The Box Office sells tickets to events like Riddim, the Capitol Steps and the Midd Cheer Variety Talent Show, as well as the events at CFA and Wright Theater. Anderson added, “Eventually, athletics could even be added to the mix.”

Like Santry, Anderson cited heavier foot traffic as the main reason for the Box Office’s move. “By being in the center of campus, we are able to market the ticketed events to a broader audience.” Anderson also noted three display cases of posters and advertisements for the ticketed events at Middlebury that many community members will pass on their way to their mailboxes, to the Grille or to the Juice Bar.

Although the Box Office has been open since Oct. 10, there will be a grand opening later this semester. Anderson said, “Starting in November our daytime hours will be Monday to Friday from noon to 4 p.m. and Monday to Thursday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., when the student center is hopping with activity.”

The student response has been enthusiastic. “The McCullough location affords a visual reminder to students about purchasing tickets for events. They seem to stop in their tracks on the way to the Juice Bar and Grille and remember that they still need to buy tickets to an upcoming performance.”

First-year Adam Volwiler agreed, saying, “That’s so much more convenient. I think the more exposed Box Office will increase ticket sales, and it will make things easier and more accessible to more kids.”

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