UIS to incorporate Shop24 vending machine


photo 3

Starting this week UIS will be training its food service employees in the operation of the new Shop24 vending machine on campus.  This mammoth vendor will be open at all times and can contain up to 200 items.  It will be located between Lincoln Residence Hall and the University Hall Building.

According to Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Dr. Van Vieregge, “Food Service staff will be trained [the week of January 25] on its operation and it should be operational by the end of the week.”  Vieregge also confirmed that the machine will accept payments via credit or debit, as well as from I-cards.

Geoff Evans, the Director of University Dining Services, stated via email “The machine is basically an automated outdoor convenience store.  The starting inventory will be what [Shop24] has given me.  It is based on the opening inventories they have used in other stores.”  Evans believes students will enjoy the option, claiming, “We think this will be a service that students will enjoy and utilize.”

The machine is not owned by the university, instead it is owned by Shop24, who has been distributing these vendors throughout the United States.  The company’s website states “The Shop24 Program is simple: we provide our Shop24 automated convenience store at no cost to you in return for a great location where your students, residents, clients, employees or customers can enjoy over 200 items where and when they want it most.”

It is also worth noting that, according to the same website, “Under this program Shop24 will ensure that this store is properly maintained and stocked on a daily basis to keep your clients happy.  Shop24 will fill the store and clean the store; we will stock, prep, maintain, and secure it.”  Shop24 has already been successful on other college campuses; the company reports that its multiple machines at Morrisville State College in New York have in total surpassed $2 million.  The National Center for Education Statistics reports that the Morrisville State College had an enrollment of 3,028 in 2013.  In the same year, UIS had an enrollment of 5,137, but only 1,047 of those students were living on campus.

This new option should be successful at UIS and attract students. This will be the first 24 hour “store” on the campus. Hopefully, this will lead to bigger and better convenient on-campus options for students.