If you’re a student buying an apple for your professor, it probably should be coming from your university c-store.

University life has changed over the years, that’s for sure. Virtual classrooms! Broadened sports programs! An unprecedented variety of classes (like this one on comic books and graphic novels)!

Monumental changes, all, and we have yet to mention our favorite: the rise and development of the university c-store. A college campus is home to breakthroughs and innovation. The c-store is no exception.

In fact, university and college stores have become industry standard bearers in their own right, paralleling advances in convenience businesses running off campus. Unattended automation and delivery are in the mix. So are combo locations, where a c-store is integrated into a shared physical space that might include a student union, a bookstore, or a restaurant (or restaurants). You’ll find unique additions, too, like the UConn c-store that sells a nutrition bar that was developed by students.

On large campuses, like Oregon State, it’s not so unusual to see more than one convenience retailer addressing several different niches of the student population. As for a few other examples of this varied marketplace:

  • Follett University may not be the biggest name on this list, but its c-store is represented well on the school’s web page, and looks great.
  • Herbie’s Market has six identically branded locations if you visit the University of Nebraska.
  • Handsome Talley Market at North Carolina State sits on a second story on top of a campus food court.
  • Villanova’s Donahue Market positions itself as a source of healthy eating and dining options to connect with the student consumer—a strategy common to the campus c-store.
  • The entrance to “Outtakes” (clever name) at Florida Atlantic University is unique and inviting.

Campus c-stores have become far more than the only place a student can spend campus food dollars. In some cases they compete successfully with off-campus stores. All in all, it’s another aspect of an industry which continues to strive for excellence, much of it made possible by the kind of technology SSCS provides. Whether your business is on-campus or off, feel free to give us a call if you want to discuss your store’s potential, and how our software can play a role in attaining it.