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Monday, October 18, 2021

Newly renovated Memorial Union bookstore to hold soft opening on June 6

UC Davis' exclusive League chair and lamp, located by the apparel section. (LUCY KNOWLES / AGGIE)
UC Davis’ exclusive League chair and lamp, located by the apparel section. (LUCY KNOWLES / AGGIE)

Bookstore to include UC Davis-branded selfie chair, Amazon center, extended art supply section

The newly renovated bookstore at the Memorial Union (MU) is slated to have a soft opening on June 6 in anticipation of the grand opening at the beginning of Fall Quarter.

The soft opening will give full access to the store and the new Amazon center. The temporary bookstore set up at the ARC Pavilion closed on May 13 in preparation for the opening of the new MU bookstore.

Improvements to the bookstore include additional space, improved structural integrity and an updated interior design. The store will also have an Amazon location that will be fully staffed and provide a space for students to order, pickup or return Amazon purchases.

The upstairs portion of the bookstore will feature UC Davis apparel, the boutique area, the Amazon store, books from campus authors, UC Davis-pressed olive oil, a new seating area with charging stations for students and a new snack line called Aggie Snacks, which will consist of UC Davis-branded snacks such as trail mix, crackers and candy.

“The boutique [is] going to have a lot of fun items: items that are blue and gold, unimprinted clothing, lots of branded jewelry and Kate Spade [items],” said Carol Swafford, the project manager, in an email interview.

The bookstore will also sell Smashbox beauty products in addition to the Clinique line already sold at the store in order to provide students with more variety. The beauty products will be located in the new boutique area.

“I went to go visit Oklahoma State this year and Smashbox is just killing it there. So the more that we looked into Smashbox, the more we had to go with them,” Swafford said. “We’re not ready to give up our relationship with Clinique, so we’ll do both. But we’re doing Clinique on a smaller scale than we used to.”

UC Davis store partnered up with the college apparel company League to make a new UC Davis clothing line, which will feature new designs and softer shirts. League also made an exclusive chair and lamp that will be showcased in the bookstore. It is one of only two League chairs in the country, with the other chair at Arizona State University.

“[The chair] is custom upholstered with our fleece fabric that is used on [other products] in the store. It is supposed to be a selfie chair. We made it to make the bookstore a destination,” said Lauren Brown, a representative from League.

For the first time, the clothing department of the store will have dressing rooms, a request made by students when the bookstore was being designed.

The downstairs portion of the bookstore will house textbooks, lab supplies and an extended school, office and art supplies section. This is the first time in many years that the bookstore will offer a wide variety of art supplies.

According to UC Davis school, office and art supply buyer Mary Testa, some of the new offerings will include an extended collection of notebooks, yarn, paper mâché letters, bike accessories, stickers and whiteboards. The art section will also provide pre-packaged kits of art supplies for students taking art classes on campus, based on what professors require for specific classes.

“We cater to the students first,” Testa said. “The art and design classes ask for supplies to be packed up, especially in the beginning classes.”

Additionally, the lower level will have a tech department for students to bring their Apple products for repair and diagnostic tests. This will differ from the already established TechHub on campus and give students an additional resource. The repair center will house state-of-the-art equipment, and students will be trained to work at the new center.

The renovation of the new bookstore was a two-year process, and required collaboration from several parties, according to Swafford.

“Otto construction, Design Construction Management, College Store Design, Campus Recreation Union facilities staff and students, student affairs marketing, UC Davis Strategic Communications, UC Davis facilities and the entire team of the UC Davis Stores students and staff have all played a critical role in the development and the future success of the store along with several other individuals and departments,” Swafford said.

Bike-themed jewelry in the boutique. (LUCY KNOWLES / AGGIE)
Bike-themed jewelry in the boutique. (LUCY KNOWLES / AGGIE)

A display featuring new UC Davis items to be sold at the bookstore. (LUCY KNOWLES / AGGIE)
A display featuring new UC Davis items to be sold at the bookstore. (LUCY KNOWLES / AGGIE)

Large selection of paints now available at bookstore. This is the first time in many years the bookstore will feature an extensive art supply section. (LUCY KNOWLES / AGGIE)
Large selection of paints now available at bookstore. This is the first time in many years the bookstore will feature an extensive art supply section. (LUCY KNOWLES / AGGIE)

The downstairs portion of the bookstore which will house textbooks, lab materials and art supplies. (LUCY KNOWLES / AGGIE)
The downstairs portion of the bookstore which will house textbooks, lab materials and art supplies. (LUCY KNOWLES / AGGIE)

Several display counters in the upstairs portion of the bookstore will display a rotating collection of UC Davis themed items. (LUCY KNOWLES / AGGIE)
Several display counters in the upstairs portion of the bookstore will display a rotating collection of UC Davis themed items. (LUCY KNOWLES / AGGIE)

Written by: LINDSAY FLOYD — campus@theaggie.org

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