Devil’s Den Sales Data Disproves Misinformation

Claire Jeantheau ’21, Staff Writer

Sales are up by 15 percent at the Devil’s Den student convenience store this semester, defying rumors that they were suffering a decline. 

Lori Coleman, the interim bookstore director, wrote a response via email on behalf of the store that overall sales “remained strong.”

“Certain categories have seen a minor decrease but many factors affect sales such as weather, seasonal items, vendors[’] products being in stock, manufacturers discontinuing products, etc,” Coleman said. She added that overall revenue is up from last year ‘s amount of $195,000 but was not able to provide an exact total for the current school year due to week-to-week variation in sales.

Coleman cited several factors which have played a role in everyday fluctuations. Appealing new food items, like candy bars, drive up sales immediately after their introduction; rising temperatures drive purchases of ice cream and cold drinks; and medicine is sold with greater regularity when a viral illness spreads across campus.

Additionally, changes in available technology across campus have had impacts on the sales of individual items. As digital news outlets are read by increased numbers of subscribers, the sales of physical magazines and newspapers have dropped in the Devil’s Den. The installation of water dispensers across campus has lessened the demand for bottled water which “was…pretty much the cornerstone of our beverage business,” Coleman said.

One possible influence of an alleged sales drop was the increased student use of declining balance through meal plans over other forms of payment. According to Coleman, the hours of dining services operation have played a more significant role in possible changes in sales than anything else. 

“A few years ago, Dining Services changed their hours of operations for their dining locations to cater to the varying schedules and dietary needs of the campus community. In turn, the Devil[’]s Den did see a minor decrease in sales since students were able to utilize their meal plan at later times. Other forms of payment have not had an [e]ffect on sales,” Coleman wrote.