An expansion of the retail environment at the University of California-Berkeley has made a wider range of products available to students than has traditionally been possible because of store space constraints. Through the CalClub program, Cal-Berkeley meal plan holders can order from a list of several hundred products ranging from bottled/canned beverages, dry goods and bread to cleaning supplies, paper goods and health & beauty products, and have it available for pickup in a few days at the nearest dining center.
"The program allows us to sell an expanded range of products that we wouldn't otherwise have room for in the campus retail stores," says Kim Jarboe LaPean, marketing coordinator for Cal Dining. "For example, in the beverage category, we can offer 20 different flavors we don't have in our stores because we don't have shelf space for them."
LaPean says the program helps meet the needs of students living in the campus's more remote residential areas, where there are no nearby stores. Another target: the school's some 1,600 nonresident meal plan holders.
Sales currently run about $10,000 a week, though that bulged to $77,000 on "use-itorlose-it" week at the end of last term, when meal plan holders had to use up their credits or forfeit them.
CalClub currently realizes about 200 orders in a typical week. LaPean says the program could see that expand to as much as 500 before serious logistical problems begin to come into play. The merchandise, which is bundled with regular campus store orders from the distributor, must be sorted and stored onsite, a labor-intensive process.