Michael Goodier argues that we should all walk that extra distance to the Guild shop and boycott the overpriced Marketplace store.
The University of Exeter’s forum shop has to be one of the most agreed-on campus issues among students. Charging £3.60 for a sandwich, its prices put it above what most would expect to pay in a high-street supermarket. A day spent last-minute essay writing in the library has cost me around £10 in market-place products, simply because it is the only shop around. Or is it?
The only reason the Marketplace can charge such extortionate prices is because collectively, we let them. As students we too often forget about our cheaper union-run shop two minutes around the corner, or simply can’t be bothered to make the extra effort. The guild shop, although smaller than the Marketplace, is cheaper for essentials such as BLT sandwiches and cans of Lilt. If you don’t intend on buying odd bits of frozen meat or jars of olives, and just fancy a meal deal and a copy of the i newspaper, avoid the massive queue and head over to the Guild shop instead.
The difference in price raises the question why the Marketplace gets access to the large, best placed premises, and the Guild gets a tiny little shop tucked away next to the Ram. If the Marketplace was Guild run you would expect to have cheaper prices, and it would be easier for students to decide which products were on the shelves – who actually buys cushions from the Marketplace?
Presumably the University don’t hand it over to the guild as they need the revenue which the marketplace brings in. This raises a further question – why did the university lease their premises to a small expensive unheard-of company, and not one of the bigger players such as Co-op or Tesco who would be able to charge students less and bring in revenue? I would suggest to the University that when Marketplace’s lease expires they look either to the Guild to set up shop, or they at least look to larger private companies who wouldn’t put the same extortionate mark-up on their goods. In the meantime we should all start paying more visits to our Guild shop, encouraging proper competition between the two in order to drive down prices.
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