New York City Vending Machines, Portable Bookstore or Both?

Vending machines on college campuses have always been great for late night snacks when the bookstore was closed or for last minute iStock_000004501197XSmalldrinks for class when the bookstore was too far away. Now, at the University of Texas at Arlington, vending machines are adding a whole other form of convenience. How? By vending more than just food and beverages.

Two vending machines stocked with on-demand items such as scantrons and phone chargers, have been placed in the University Center. Why? So that students can have access to important items (everything from flash drives to car phone chargers) even if the bookstore or P.O.D. is closed or too far away. According to Paul Bealieu, the campus store’s store manager, the machines were placed with the idea of “expand[ing] commodities beyond the four walls of the bookstore.”

MerchantMediaAlthough the machines currently only accept cash, plans are in the works to use school ID cards and debit/credit cards as acceptable payment methods.

So if you, like Beaulieu, want to “[try] to go where the students are” to increase your profits talk to your local New York City vending operator about copying this system at your school and/or public location (think train/bus stations where people may need headphones, chargers, etc.). And don’t wait on credit card readers. A machine placed for convenience does no one any good if they can’t purchase what’s inside.

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