Sodexo reevaluated the prices of the 20 most popular C-store items, according to Andy Allen, Sodexo General Manager. This means that Ben and Jerry’s now costs $4.99 compared to $6.09.
Sodexo’s “point of sale system” suggests price changes based on invoice pricing when a vendor delivers an item. This is why some products are priced higher than their counterparts at local supermarkets. Sodexo employees have not evaluated or manually adjusted until now, due to the sheer amount of hours and staff dedication that it would require, according to Allen.
“To simplify, an automated system captures the invoice pricing from the vendor at the point of delivery, looks back at the last time it was purchased, reviews if the prices have changed up or down, then produces a weekly report that suggests price changes,” he said. “If approved, it automatically updates the register system and produces a new pricing sticker for its placement in the store. If you simply think about each of those steps happening in a manual fashion, it shows the scope.”
Student Union members and Sodexo staff met to discuss the price adjustments earlier at the start of the school year. President Jacob Edelman and Vice President Hannah Brown aimed to see if some of the higher priced, popular items at the C-store could be adjusted. Edelman said that Sodexo staff members were “extremely receptive” to their questions.
Over the summer, Sodexo considered switching the software used for purchasing, pricing and inventory to update functions in the C-store. Allen explained that any type of switch would require a lot of manual work to make a new system compatible with Sodexo’s point of sale and card swipe system. Regardless, they understood the need to manually adjust prices.
To make the manual adjustment process more manageable, Sodexo broke the items into categories. The 20 most purchased items at the store were manually updated about a week ago. “By reviewing in order of sales volume, we will impact the greatest amount of customers the quickest,” wrote Allen.
Sodexo staff members either lowered or maintained the price point. As of Wednesday night, Allen confirmed that Sodexo has not raised any prices.
The most popular items in the C-store vary from Act Popcorn, now priced at $.89 to Lucky Charms cereal at $6.09. The price of some granola bars decreased. Nature Valley granola bars are now $.99 each and Cliff bars $2.09 each.
“The process will not be immediate for everything, since the 1,000+ items in the store need to be reviewed and repriced manually, but it will be taking place, and we are grateful for the action Sodexo is taking to address this issue,” wrote Edelman in an email to The Hoot.
There are over 1,200 products in the C-store, according to Allen. By next week, Allen estimates, 50 more prices will be adjusted.
Sodexo is circulating a survey to get student feedback on dining services around campus. The survey is online and will remain open until Nov. 5.
The chair of the Dining Committee could not be reached in time for comment.