Remember the days when every college campus was not a giant mall? Extra credit: remember when the average college campus had nary an Abercrombie & Fitch? Today's Wall Street Journal's story on that ubiquitous flip-flop brand's "buzz"-generating bonanza at five lucky college campuses* just gave us rush of nostalgia for the olden days. Remember how mercifully impossible it used to be for the average communications major to procure a pair of Tory Burch flats without leaving the Green Zone representing the 500 yard radius of the Theta house? Because college campuses were the rare tracts of land in America where the demand for dumb consumer goods and belogoed status branded articles of clothing seemed totally out of whack with the supply? Yeah well, those days = over!Once upon a time retailers shied away from college campuses because they didn't know how to deal with the four months of the year business would be totally dead. Mercifully, sometime in the nineties many enterprising college presidents pinpointed "detestable materialism" and "abiding love for conspicuous consumption" as two of the primary traits in the psychological profiles of the average overprivileged young high school students they coveted or at the very least wanted to apply to their institutions for the sake of pushing down the acceptance rate, and they forked over some of their endowment zillions to offering kickbacks to companies like Urban Outfitters and Barnes & Noble. My old campus even has an American Apparel now! Still, some retail chains found the whole "summer" thing to be a problem. So for them, the nation's institutes of higher education worked out a deal: open a "pop-up" store! Kiehl's and Havaianas and Victoria's Secret Pink are all doing it. They open mini-stores or stands for a day or a month and then pick up and leave! For some reason, according to the Wall Street Journal this is causing controversy. "We don't want our faculty and students overrun with commercialization," says University of Florida school spokesman Steve Orlando. Oh Steve.
*WHICH lucky campuses? Good question. The story doesn't say and I am going to pass on researching this one, but Google away! Disclosure: I worked retail in college. Image via APIAS