Sodexo to Takeover both Closing Convenience Stores


Christian Iglesias

The Corbett Corner convenience store located inside Corbett Center.

Food options seem to grow slimmer and slimmer as the two convenience stores (Aggie Corner and Aggie Express) located on the New Mexico State University campus are set to close on Dec. 8, 2017. The stores are set to re-open by the spring semester under new management – Sodexo.

This will add even more retail space operated by the third party food vendor on the university campus. Currently the convenience stores are being run and operated by the Barnes and Noble Book Store. The move to shift operations by the company came in early October.

The Round Up sat down to speak to Barnes and Noble about the matter. Jayna Whitehood the general manager expressed the reasons why the company would no longer be managing the convenience stores in a bold statement.

 “We are in the book store business, not the convenience store,” Whitehood stated. “We just feel like Sodexo can better accommodate the students of the university.”

 Collin King the assistant store manager added on that the the move will be beneficial for both the company and the students.

“The stores will close on Dec. 8,” King said. “The transition will begin Dec. 15 and then Sodexo should be fully operating the two locations by the beginning of the spring semester.”

Many question if Barnes and Noble weren’t profiting from the two convenience store locations. Neither of the two managers wanted to comment on why the company openly handed the two retail spaces to Sodexo, nor give any information on how the sales from the locations effected the company.

Auxiliary Services are a self supporting branch of NMSU who employ/contract with Sodexo. Throughout their contract with the company, they have had to amend their contract six times. The Round Up did receive contracts from both the fifth and sixth amended documents highlighting the changes.

 The contract states that any purchases made at any Sodexo’s retail services will be subject to an 11 percent commission tax paid back to Auxiliary Services. The sixth amendment includes the two new locations being run by the company. Currently Sodexo’s retail services include the food court inside Corbett, Subway, Einstein Bros. Bagel, Gila Grill, etc.

Kim Huddleston, the Director of Business Support for Auxiliary Services believes this will be a better move for the university in the aspect of satisfying the NMSU community.

“Sodexo has a bigger staff to operate the locations,” Huddleston said. “The hours will be more consistent and they may even increase.”

Currently the two stores are open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Huddleston believes that Sodexo will include more of their own foods into the stores, but is still unsure if they plan to keep the spaces a convenience store.

“This will give more options for those families, Greeks and other residents in south campus to chose from, instead of your typical convenience store options,” Huddleston said.

Jeannina Pratt a freshman studying electrical and computer engineering technology is a frequent visitor of the Aggie Corner. She expressed a concern for those students who live on campus and have no vehicles to get some food.

“On the weekends, Taos is our only option,” Pratt said. “My friends who don’t have cars to rely on the corner store for basic needs like toothpaste, toilet paper and some different food options.”

She did state that that she fears that with Sodexo coming in, the price of food will be much higher than it already is in the store. The Round Up reached out multiple times to Sodexo to comment on what their plans are for the two retail spaces and we have yet to receive a response from them. The status of what is to come of the two locations is still unknown.

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