With the fall 2020 semester being delivered primarily through alternative instruction, the 49er Shops at Long Beach State has temporarily paused the stocking of the on-campus vending machines to avoid future loss of income.
Clint Campbell, 49er Shops’ facilities manager, said the vending machines on campus bring in roughly $340,000 annually, according to the year-end audit from June 2019 to July 2020. Since CSULB made the transition to online instruction, the vending machines have brought in no revenue for the university.
“The machines are currently empty, since there is no need [for them], but also so that we can reduce the amount of product that would have to be discarded due to expired date codes,” he said. “Not having products in these machines also means that there is no direct expense tied to managing this product and servicing the machines.”
With the university being mostly empty this semester, the overall need for stock has dramatically decreased compared to previous years.
According to Rosa Hernandez, director of human resources, the 49er Shops operates as a self-funded, nonprofit organization separate from the university.
As an auxiliary organization, the 49er Shops doesn’t receive any subsidies from the campus and is therefore working to minimize expenses and labor, Hernandez said.
The revenue brought in by the vending machines goes toward paying “the overhead of the organization, but also contributes to the university,” she said.
“The vending machines are one of those ways that, before COVID, we would stock and manage to ensure that students that attended classes late in the day or on weekends could have options while on campus,” Campbell said.
Campbell said the 49er Shops will be keeping the vending machines empty until further notice, a decision that was decided on based on feedback gathered from groups on campus.
The feedback, he said, has helped the 49er Shops with strategic decisions on the placement of the equipment and services.
Campbell said the university will have the machines returned to a fully stocked condition once in-person classes have resumed.
“We thrive when our campus is full of students and our operations and venues are staffed to ensure that we provide our goods and services to our students in a way that is convenient for them when they are on campus,” Campbell said.