The Norman Transcript

March 24, 2013

Some students and businesses would like OU IT Store open on Saturday

By Jacque Entwistle
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — It comes as no surprise that college students are always using, changing and upgrading to new technology, but the task of purchasing that technology is difficult when the availability of their resources is limited.

According to their website, the OU IT Store sells discounted technology to students, faculty and staff and is also open to the public.

Their store hours run Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and they are closed on the weekends.

These store hours may cause conflict though. Not only for non-students and faculty, but also for those students who are simply too busy during the week and rely on the weekends to run errands.

“It would be more helpful if the IT Store were open Saturday because I normally go shopping on Saturday,” said Zoey Horner.

Brittany Skinner feels the same.

“I usually shop on the weekend,” Skinner said. “I think they should be open on the weekends and maybe close a couple of days during the week. I think that would make more sense.”

Students are not alone in suggesting the IT Store open shop on the weekends.

“I think they’re missing some of the market,” said Rainey Powell, a Merchants Association Board member. “That’s my opinion.”

He expanded on the intentions of the IT Store.

“They’re very focused on the university and university needs so we’d love to see them open on weekends, but they’re not,” Powell said.

The OU IT Store used to be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., said Becky Grant in an email. Grant is the communications manager of OU Information Technology.

“We had very little traffic after 5 p.m. and decided to shorten the hours,” Grant said.

But the conflict of being closed on weekends remains.

“Keeping the store open on weekends incurs additional costs,” Grant said. “Since our proceeds support OU, we want to be careful to only open when there is a need for it.”

It seems as though neighboring store owners alike want to see the IT Store open on weekends too.

“If they were open in the evenings we would see a difference, no question,” said Jason Skeel, Cafe Plaid manager. “And if they were open on weekends we would without a doubt see more business.”

Skeel is not only looking out for his business but the surrounding businesses as well.

“A good portion of everyone on Campus Corner rely on other people for business,” Skeel said.

He also said shared business is the intent of Campus Corner, and that if the IT Store were open on weekends, it would give people one more reason to come down.

Barbara Fite, Antique Garden store owner, does not feel as strongly about the issue.

“Yeah I think it would be good for them to be open,” Fite said. “Not a drastic difference, but it would be nice.”

Others feel there would be zero consequences if the IT Store were to open shop on weekends.

“Honestly, I don’t think it would have any effect,” said Andrea Gentix, Lucca store manager.

“That type of thing is typically taken care of during the week, the technology type stuff, and just regularly it being open is not harmful or helpful.”

But while Skeel says the closed business of the OU IT Store on the weekends is simply a detriment to them, the addition of evening hours and weekend availability just might benefit his and other surrounding shops. 

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