AMS services round out 2009-10

14 to post about $90,000 deficit overall, Vice-President (Operations) says

AMS Vice-President (Operations) Leslie Yun says Merchandise Services is doing well in sales compared to last year.
AMS Vice-President (Operations) Leslie Yun says Merchandise Services is doing well in sales compared to last year.
Journal File Photo

The AMS’s 14 services will likely finish with a $90,000 overall deficit—$31,450 less than budgeted for 2009-10, AMS Vice-President (Operations) Leslie Yun said.

The AMS budgeted a year-end deficit of $121,450, she said.

Last year’s deficit was $103,934.

The AMS operates 14 services, which include the Common Ground coffee house, Destinations, the Publishing and Copy Centre (P&CC), Queen’s Student Constables, Tricolour Outfitters, the Used Book Store, Alfie’s nightclub, the Queen’s Pub, Walkhome, Yearbook and Convocation Services, the Guide to Queen’s Agenda, CFRC FM radio station, the Journal and Queen’s T.V.

Merchandising Services, the Journal and CFRC are projected to finish with the biggest deficits, she said.

“These services provide students with all types of advantages, including being able to finance their education and gain valuable [work] experiences,” she said.

Yun said AMS Merchandise Services consists of Tricolour Outfitters and the Used Bookstore.

“We’re anticipating an end-of-year deficit of about $50,000, over $50,000 better than the budgeted end-of-year deficit of $107,926,” she said.

Merchandise Services’ deficit was $149,884 in 2008-09, she said.

“We are currently ahead in used book sales by about $80,000 and clothing sales by about $46,000,” she said, adding that Merchandise Services has made about $110,000 more in sales than last year.

“To compare it to last year, it is doing exceptionally well,” she said.

The AMS hopes Merchandise Services will break even in two years, she added.

Yun said she thinks the services’ success is a result of the decision to focus on a niche market. “In 2006, it was known as Tricolour Market and they sold knick-knacks, greeting cards and some clothing,” she said. “We realized that we had to find a niche market so we can offer the customers what we know, and do it well, instead of trying to compete in every area.” Yun said the P&CC was budgeted to have a year-end deficit of $9,549 but is now expected to have a $15,000 profit.

“We were quite unsure of the future of P&CC ... with the full legal disclosure of reserve readings and its discontinuation,” she said, adding that the AMS also anticipated a decrease in sales because many professors are making their course materials available online.

However, the P&CC has been able to continue popular services such as wide-format printing, she said.

Yun said Common Ground was budgeted to post a $25,034 year-end deficit but is anticipated to finish with an actual deficit of $90,616.

“We won’t really know the impact of the move to the Queen’s Centre up until later, as we only have two to three months of numbers as of right now,” she said, adding that sales in the new location are up compared to what they were in the JDUC.

“In the long-term impact, we’ve noticed that volume has been decreasing in the last couple of years.”

Yun said any profits from AMS services are often redistributed to other areas of student life and governance.

Approximately five per cent of the 14 services’ expenses go towards administrative fees, totalling about $322,000.

“All services contribute to the AMS overhead administrative fee dealing with banking and legal fees,” she said.

Yun said the AMS’s goal in the upcoming year should be to make service operations more systematic and consistent.

“It’s important to recognize that trends do change and that we need to make things more consistent so we can better read how services will be doing over the next three to five years.”

—With files from Holly Tousignant

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