The BYU Store got a new look this summer in the hopes of helping customers experience the spirit of the Y.
BYU Store director Mark Clegg said this summer’s remodel is the largest major change in many years and included changes in product location and the overall feel of the store. Clegg said the store provides more than just materials to students, faculty, alumni and visitors.
“Why we’re really here is because we have the ability to add to the university experience,” Clegg said. “I call it connecting people to the spirit of the Y, which is the new mission statement.”
Clegg said retailers have to create an atmosphere to succeed in their industry. This includes the lighting, smell, sound and temperature that contribute to the experience of purchasing a particular product.
“Buying anything is an emotional experience,” Clegg said. “You have to feel that the value I’m getting is equal to the price I’m paying, or there isn’t a transaction. If you don’t feel that equilibrium, you walk out the door.”
The BYU Store is more than a bookstore and more than an apparel store – it’s an experience. Whether the store reminds customers of a personal achievement, an event on the field or accomplishments in the performing arts, Clegg said the main point is that amazing things happen at this university. Students, faculty, alumni and fans should remember where they came from and feel proud to be a Cougar, Clegg said.
Originally, the BYU Bookstore was created to provide the required books and supplies for students to excel in school. The bookstore industry is shrinking, Clegg said, and BYU experienced that firsthand when the mission age change resulted in lower enrollment figures and fewer textbook sales. But the merchandise area was continuing to grow, which helped make up for lost revenue. The BYU Bookstore officially changed its name to the BYU Store in 2014.
Sales floor supervisor Ashley Dewey said Clegg has a good vision of the changes that need to be made to exceed customer expectations and turn the store into the ultimate BYU experience.
She also said the main goal of the remodel was to make the BYU Store feel more like a fan experience. There is BYU merchandise at every entrance to remind people where they are. When people come in, they can immediately tell that they are in the BYU Store.
“We’re just trying to let people know that we sell everything here,” Dewey said. “We are the official outfitters of BYU fans everywhere. We can help with anything they need.”
Along with changes to the store’s physical appearance, management now has a new structure. Now, instead of multiple supervisors over all eleven departments, there is just one sales floor supervisor. Dewey said sales associates are now trained in every department of the store. This change makes it easier for customers to find and buy the products they desire.
The BYU Store expects even more changes in the future. Modifications, such as painted walls and format print, will be made to add to the collegiate feel. One addition that Clegg said he is most excited for will be called the Legacy Collection, where unique items such as BYU-themed felt pool tables and brass 12-inch personalized cougar statues will be sold.
“We’ve got product development teams and outside vendors working on that. It’s just taking a little bit of time,” Clegg said. “It’s not a broad change, it’s just an area in the store, but once that Legacy Collection is done, it’ll add a whole new visual element.”