New exec won't close Tricolour Outfitters

Motion was never on t he table, Talia Radcliffe says

Incoming TAMS Manager Kristin Boysen says she wants to improve Tricolour Outfitters’ public profile next year.
Incoming TAMS Manager Kristin Boysen says she wants to improve Tricolour Outfitters’ public profile next year.
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Tricolour Outfitters won’t close next year, after all.

Despite the prominent place team RWS’s promise to shut down AMS-run store took in election debates this year, AMS President-elect Talia Radcliffe and her team hired a new TAMS manager for the Used Book Store and Tricolour Outfitters next year.

“Essentially, it wasn’t so much a decision to do anything or not to do anything,” Radcliffe said. “It was just never put on the table as a motion, I mean.”

A decision to close the service would have to be approved by AMS Board of Directors, she said. Her executive team would have had to prepare a report detailing their rationale to close the store two weeks after they were elected in order to give the Board time for discussion.

“It was completely unfeasible to have been able to do what they expected for us in order to close the Tricolour,” she said, adding that most of her two weeks following the election were spent attending meetings and conducting hiring interviews.

The report would have to include plans for new use of the space, financial plans, information about the new manager structure and plans for hiring new employees.

She said she researched that information before the election campaign but didn’t have concrete figures needed to create a report.

“We had a good idea of what we were talking about without actually having numbers,” she said.

Radcliffe said she will consider having Vice-President (Operations) Ken Wang write a report for next year.

She said the store’s classified under the new AMS Financial Operation and Responsibility Tier as a turn-around service, which means it requires more attention from Board until it makes a profit.

“There’s more scrutiny and it will give us the opportunity to really evaluate, from all angles, the future of the service,” she said. “I’m happy with that aspect of it.”

A lot of discussion will revolve around whether Tricolour Outfitters is fulfilling the AMS’s mandate to provide a unique service to students, Radcliffe said. She also wants to see how space is allocated to student services in the new Queen’s Centre. Phase One is scheduled to be finished in fall 2009.

“We’d have to evaluate where the Tricolour Outfitters would fit in the Queen’s Centre,” she said. “If next year the Queen’s Centre isn’t ready, we have to evaluate specifically what [the Tricolour Outfitters] role is in the JDUC.”

Radcliffe said she doesn’t think this decision is letting student voters down.

“It’s always important to recognize that, while some voters might have voted for that platform point, there are also people who didn’t,” she said. “We’re doing everything in our power in the next year to at least accomplish the ideas behind that platform point, if not the platform point in and of itself.”

Incoming TAMS manager Kristin Boysen, 2007-08 Human Resources Officer, said she’s happy with the way Tricolour Outfitters was run this year because it’s doing better financially.

“The current managers did a really great job of building a solid business model,” she said, adding that they cleared out old merchandise that wasn’t selling and revamped the store to only sell clothing.

“The managers really knew what would sell so they brought in great products, good companies, good colours, good fits and they really priced them well.”

She said she and her management team will build on that momentum.

“A lot of it is going to be bringing the products out to more students—sidewalk sales, perhaps fashion shows,” she said. “We’re still in development stages so nothing has been solidified.”

Boysen said no one told her at her interview why the store’s remaining open.

She said she’s not too worried about it because she wants to work on developing the store’s image.

“Just increasing awareness and making sure the store’s better used.”

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