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Caring for Your Retail Customers Award: Boiler Junction/Boiler Crossing

Caring for Your Retail Customers Award: Boiler Junction/Boiler Crossing

Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN

Opened: August 1995/August 1996
Gross Sales/Day: $3,800/$4,600

The Boiler Junction and Crossing are actually two separate venues that are organized similarly and priced identically, but which serve different customer bases. Boiler Crossing, a 900-sq.ft. outlet in Purdue's Meredith Hall, serves some 900 customers on an average day, with those customers generally being an equal mix of male and female students. By contrast, the 1,000-sq.ft. Boiler Junction serves a predominantly male clientele in its location in the male-only Tarkington Hall (plus, two other male-only residence halls are nearby).

The different customer bases require different product mixes. Boiler Crossing carries the usual c-store items in addition to a large frozen food section and many specialty items, such as organics and gluten-free products. Boiler Junction stocks many larger versions of standard c-store items — large boxes of cookies, chips, candies and crackers as well as cases of beverages. It also sells more jerky and drinks.

To educate students about the targeted services offered by the two locations, especially after recent significant makeovers of both, the University Residences Marketing Dept. designed new logos specifically for each. These were placed in high impact areas.

To introduce freshmen to the stores' presence, there are electronic sign boards in residence halls and dining court lobbies, as well as a distinct web page linked from the main Dining Services page. This past year, the operations also debuted on Facebook.

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