January 24, 2013

Cornell Store Features Big Red Changes

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Students shopping for textbooks over the past week may have noticed a few changes at the Cornell Store, including a revamped technology center and a new layout for apparel.

Previous construction at the Cornell Store expanded the store’s technology area so that it would have a wider selection and better display for customers. The technology area is almost complete and, when finished, will feature a demo bar to try out products and improved lighting, according to Pat Wynn, director of the Cornell Store.

Narda Terrones ’14 noted the importance of having electronics and technology aid easily available to students and other customers.

“I think it’s a smart move in terms of having electronics in the face of customers. It makes the store much more appealing,” Terrones said.

A wider, more accessible entrance has also been completed on the store’s second floor.

All apparel is now located on the second floor so the store will no longer have to accommodate for textbook sales at the beginning of each semester.

Wynn stressed the convenience of the new store layout, which puts all art and school supplies on the first floor and clothing and gifts on the second floor.

“One of the benefits is to not have to move the clothing and gifts to accommodate books, which saves time, energy and stress, both on the staff, as well as the floors,” according to Margie Whiteleather, Cornell Store project manager.

For some customers, however, it was an adjustment to find where some items had been relocated, according to Erica Cartusciello ’15.

“The biggest thing was getting used to new locations of some items. The look of the store is good, but a lot still looks the same,” Cartusciello said.

The redesign also consisted of behind-the-scenes work, like the installation of a new water system for a refillable water station and the rearrangement of the store’s overall layout, according to Wynn. She said that the remodeling plans called for an “elegant, timeless and modern look.”

The Cornell Store has temporarily suspended construction to accommodate textbook sales, but will begin the final phase of its renovation in early Feb., according to Cornell Store Project Manager Margie Whiteleather.

In order for the store to better reflect Cornell’s history, the second floor will feature a built-in column shaped like a tower that will display the works and pictures of past and present Cornellian authors, according to Wynn. The tower will be positioned beneath a new skylight, where it will also be visible from the first floor.

For student writers hoping to one day see their face on the author tower, the store will also feature an Espresso Book Machine. With an EBM, customers can upload their work to the machine and print out a bound book. Additionally, the machine can print pre-existing titles that may be out of print or difficult to find.

Wynn said that since the closest EBM is in New York City, the machine will be very popular with students and is a “perfect fit” for the new Cornell Store.

“I think [the EBM] is where we’ll have the most success [with students] on campus,” Wynn said.

Whiteleather added that they were pleased that a lot of the work was done over winter break, so textbook sales were able to run smoothly and without interruptions. When construction resumes in February, however, the downstairs cashier area will be inaccessible for about six weeks.

Although the construction posed some inconveniences for the store, Wynn said that the improvement was ultimately worth it.

“We’re most excited that for graduations, reunions and the sesquicentennial, the store will be a great meeting place for the Cornell community,” Wynn said.

Original Author: Dara Levy