Bryan Center renovations are forcing a shuffle among several of the building’s stores.
The University Store and the Lobby Shop spaces are scheduled to close around May 15 after the Spring semester ends, said Jim Wilkerson, director of trademark licensing and operations for Duke Stores. These changes are part of a larger set of renovations to the Bryan Center Duke Stores, including the Gothic Bookshop and the Textbook Store. Wilkerson added that this is the first time these spaces have been renovated in the past 30 years.
To accommodate the large number of visitors who come to Duke during the summer, a smaller quantity of University Store merchandise will be sold out of the Gothic Bookshop space from the beginning of summer until Aug. 1. Additionally, a scaled-down version of the Lobby Shop, which will just sell dry goods, will operate out of another room on the upper level of the Bryan Center.
“As soon as the renovated Lobby Shop and University Store are available Aug. 1, then we’re in a big hurry to move all the University Store stuff back into the renovated space and the Lobby Shop merchandise back into its renovated space,” Wilkerson said.
The Gothic Bookshop and the Textbook Store have moved their inventories off campus while their Bryan Center locations undergo renovations. The Gothic Bookshop closed Feb. 2, and the Textbook store closed Feb. 1, both to reopen by the end of the summer. The University Store and Gothic Bookshop will boast glass entrances looking onto the Bryan Center Plaza, next to Joe Van Gogh coffee shop.
“It’s going to be inconvenient—we know that—but we really had no choice but to shut these operations down in order to do renovations,” Wilkerson said. “We made arrangements... to make sure customers can still call us and get whatever they need from us.”
Vice President for Finance Tim Walsh said he does not anticipate a major revenue loss while the stores are closed. The timing of the renovations was planned so that the Textbook Store was not affected during the shopping period for Spring semester textbooks, nor will it affect students in the Fall. As for the Gothic Bookshop, Walsh said the lost revenues are not a concern because its sales are quite small anyway.
“The benefits of improved visibility and improved access for customers far outweigh the short-term impact,” Walsh said.
Those wishing to purchase books from the Gothic Bookshop must now do so over the phone or via email. Textbook orders can be placed at the service desk or online. All orders will then be delivered to the Textbook Store’s service desk in the Bryan Center below the University Store.
Junior Eva Bahnuk, who has worked at the Gothic Bookshop since her freshman year, noted that all employees of the store were promised jobs at other Duke Stores while the renovations are taking place. She is currently working at the Textbook Store service counter.
Walsh said he anticipates substantial improvements to the Bryan Center stores’ operation.
“[When] the Gothic [Bookshop] is visible from the Plaza... and the University Store is right there on the Plaza with new glass doors, it’s going to totally change the model for the University Store and the Textbook Store and the Gothic [Bookshop], and that’s more than a fair trade off,” Walsh said.