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Davis, California

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

UC Davis store strives to bring business downtown

A new UC Davis store will be opening in the heart of downtown. What will be tentatively called the UC Davis Store Downtown will be located at Second and F Street and is expected to open by mid-June.

“I think it will be a welcome and needed addition and retail outlet with products and services that are in high demand in the downtown area,” said Charles Kratochvil, director of UC Davis stores. “It will provide a much better connection for us to the city of Davis.”

The store will accept student accounts as a form of payment, and hours will be consistent with other downtown merchants, Kratochvil said.

Although the new store will carry some books, including popular best sellers and books authored by members of the University Writing Program, the majority of the products will be UC Davis gear.

In addition, the new store will carry a series of products that are known as “Campus grown.” The series will feature items such as olive oil and olive oil-based body products made from trees located around campus. The store will also offer custom embroidery services, which may be popular amongst the Greek community.

Kratochvil said he is particularly excited for the new store because of the current MU bookstore’s inadequate size.

“This store – at 27,000 square feet – is too small. An industry standard of two square feet per student has not been met. And a planned expansion has been put on pause while the Memorial Union assesses the current financial situation and climate,” he said in an e-mail.

Some current bookstore employees are looking forward to the new addition.

“If they offer me hours working at the downtown store once it opens I would gladly take them,” said Olivia Henry, a junior evolutionary anthropology major, who has worked at the bookstore since June 2010. “I live closer to downtown than campus and would also love to see what kind of different clientele the new store will bring in.”

Some employees said they think that the new branch will bring in more of the townspeople of Davis. They are also not the only people interested in the store.

“I am really excited a new store is opening up downtown because it will allow more people to buy UC Davis gear,” said Robert Goodman, sophomore technocultural studies major. “[This] will maybe [give] the locals a chance to be more proud that they live in Davis and represent what a nice school we have.”

The store will have a full-time career supervisor, as well as one other career employee. The rest of the staff will consist of students. The UC Davis store program currently employs over 300 students and will be hiring more closer to the opening of the downtown location.

The UC Davis Store Downtown will be opening across from the Avid Reader, though it was stated in a press release that the UC Davis Store would not compete with the existing establishment. Those behind the new store believe it will only benefit other businesses downtown.

“UC Davis will be much a part in the revitalization of the downtown area. Our goods, services and programs should help draw more people to the area,” Kratochvil said.

The organizers intend to open the new store before this spring’s graduation ceremony, providing an opportunity for visiting families to be the first to experience the new addition.

The new store will combine two spaces and is currently being remodeled. One part was previously occupied by Strands Hair Salon, which has relocated. The other was First Northern Bank’s real estate division, which shut down in 2010.

AARON WEISS can be reached at city@theaggie.org.

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