College Campus or Shopping Mall?

Imagine walking down your campus’ busy walkway, such as “Liacouras Walk” at Temple University. You see “pop-up” stands bearing the names “PINK,” “Kiehl’s,” or flip-flop maker “Havaianas,” among others.

At universities such as Penn State University or the University of Alabama, this is a reality for college students. According to the latest College Explorer study by Harris Interactive for Alloy Media and Marketing, the discretionary spending of 18- to 30-year-old students is estimated to reach $53 billion this year, 10% more than last year and 29% more than in 2005. In other words, the college-age audience is a dream for many marketers looking to build brand loyalty among younger consumers.

So as you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking that this is great and now you don’t have to travel to your favorite retailer- they’re right at your campus door. Well, if they’re not already there, there is probably a reason. Universities across the country have given a big “no” to college-hungry marketers for a few reasons. Among the reasons, they are not looking for competition in their own school stores, and at University of Florida they “don’t want our faculty and students overrun with commercialization.”

What do you think? Would you love to have your favorite brands on-campus, or do you think this may quickly turn your educational facilities into a shopping mall full of monetary distractions?

Check out more information in the article “Retailers Give It the Old College Try” from the Wall Street Journal.

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