The BYU Store is getting a facelift this year with renovations throughout the main level, schedule to finish by April 2019.
The first major renovation is hard to miss. On the west side of the store, near the Twilight Zone, is a wooden tunnel blocking off where the children’s book section used to be. This section of the store is being replaced with a new candy shop.
Candy has always been important to BYU Store customers, according to BYU Store Director Mark Clegg.
“BYU fudge and chocolate cinnamon bears are iconic to the BYU Store and placed directly in the center of the store,” he said. “Candy has always been a focal point.”
High volumes of candy sales within the store have caused reoccurring traffic problems due to the candy counter’s location, according to Clegg.
“Traffic was occurring frequently at that pinch point of the BYU Store where the candy counter is, and I always felt there could be a better way to keep candy as a focal point, but find a solution for those pinch points,” he said.
Clegg planned to redesign the candy counter experience at the BYU Store since becoming director in July 2015. After doing some research into the history of the candy counter at BYU, Clegg struck gold.
“So much of retail is finding what used to resonate and bringing it back. After doing a little research, I found that the very first BYU candy store was called the ‘Sweet Stop,'” Clegg said. “I was up in Salt Lake, and I went into a store called Lolli and Pops, and I suddenly felt like this is what I had in my head for the store.”
BYU’s original “Sweet Stop” will be back and better than ever, according to Clegg.
“What is under construction right now will be that cool, nostalgic candy store. It will have all the candy we carry now and, in addition to that, a whole new line of chocolates,” Clegg said. “The candy shop will have a metal tin roof, white columns, a brand new wrap-around fudge counter with double the size candy cases that we have now and mosaic white floors.”
The new candy section will feel modern while still hearkening back to old-fashioned BYU, according to Clegg.
BYU student and store employee Matthew Heath said he is excited about the renovations taking place and thinks they will be a positive change for the BYU Store culture.
“I think it will be a great throwback to BYU’s roots, helping students remember and alumni reconnect with the Y,” Heath said. “It will add a great social environment to the bookstore.”
However, BYU student Rebecca Shippen said she feels the timing of construction is inconvenient.
“I don’t really know why they would need a sweet shop right now. I feel like maybe it’s something they should do during the summer when there are fewer students,” Shippen said.
According to Clegg, the Sweet Stop candy shop should be finished by the end of November.
The rest of the main level renovations will include a new interactive learning discovery zone that will take the current location of women’s fashion in the southeast corner of the store. It will include all children’s and adult books, moving books back to the main level of the bookstore from their previous location on the third floor.
“It will feel like your neighborhood bookstore with features that immerse every customer in the spirit of the Y. It will be an interactive, family-centered learning environment,” Clegg said.
The middle of the store where the candy counter is now will be replaced with a new legacy collection highlighting different iconic BYU experiences to help customers “connect with the spirit of the Y,” Clegg said.