Queen’s pulls plug on Campus Computer Store

Current services to be transitioned while retail operations will be closed

The Campus Computer Store in Dupuis Hall will close by April 2016.
The Campus Computer Store in Dupuis Hall will close by April 2016.
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Following a year-by-year trend of financial losses, Queen’s has decided to close its on-campus computer store. 

The University reported a growing deficit for the technological retail outlet in its review of ancillary operations during the 2014-15 academic year. Due to its findings, the review recommended closing the Campus Computer Store by April 29, 2016. 

In an interview with The Journal, Caroline Davis, vice-principal (finance and administration), said the deficit has been a multi-year trend, although she didn’t have specific deficit values on-hand. 

“We’ve been experiencing a decline year over year,” Davis said. 

“We’ve come to the point where we do need to make sure that [the University doesn’t] actually make losses. So we’ll be closing before we actually get to that point.”

The Computer Store served as a retail outlet for students, and sold both everyday technologies and more complex equipment.

“If you want to buy a desktop computer or a little gadget like a printer, you can go in there and just buy it. It’s like a regular computer store on the high street,” Davis said.

Davis said the store could also procure more complicated types of equipment, including “servers or major pieces of computer equipment”. 

With the closure of the retail service, the core services offered by the store will be transitioned to the portfolios of other shared services. 

Queen’s Mobile Voice and Data Plans, for example, will be moved under the portfolio of Information Technology Services (ITS). According to Davis, students using these plans won’t be affected by the transition.

According to The Queen’s Gazette, most universities across Ontario have already closed their computer stores. After the Queen’s store closes, Western University will be the only university operating a retail computer store on its campus. 

The Queen’s outlet, which has been operating for over 30 years, is located on the ground floor of Dupuis Hall. 

Employees of the store have consulted with Queen’s Human Resources and union representatives to discuss options moving forward.

Davis said current employees will be offered positions in strategic procurement services, which fall under the finance and administration portfolio, although only three new positions will be offered. She didn’t say how many employees currently work at the Computer Store.

Nonetheless, she said discussions are underway and the transition will be smooth. 

“We’ve got discussions that have been ongoing with each of the people, so it will all be taken care of,” she said. 

— With files from Mikayla Wronko

 

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