This fall, the students at the University of Central Missouri will have an entirely new shopping experience. On August 10, the University Store’s second location will open in The Crossing, a $42 million mixed-use facility just one block away from the current store, just north of the football stadium.
In addition to providing housing for 325 students, The Crossing has ample retail space on the first floor. The 15,000 sq. ft. University Store and its adjacent convenience store will have Warrensburg’s first Starbucks and SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza as neighbors.
This new location also marks an opportunity to separate the store’s merchandise into categories; a move that Director Charlie Rutt anticipates will provide an even better shopping experience and increased sales.
“The new store will primarily sell emblematic merchandise,” he said. “T-shirts, key chains, hats, anything like that. At our current location, we’ll focus on course materials, supplies and technology. We’re essentially doubling our floor space, so it will be much more comfortable for our customers to browse in both stores. Our back of house operations will remain in our current location so the majority of the footprint of the new building is dedicated to merchandise.”
Another key benefit of the new building is that it comes with 70 parking spots specifically designated for shoppers. This will make a big difference in the customer base, according to Rutt.
“We know who our customers are,” he said. “What we don’t know is who isn’t shopping with us because it isn’t convenient. This way, our store is part of a lifestyle center, a gateway between campus and downtown. We’re working towards removing any perceived distance between the university and our downtown community.”