Michigan State University

East Lansing,

Student Union, Retail, And Foodservice Analysis

In 2004 Michigan State University selected B&D to study the retail potential of its MSU Union. This was part of a broader effort to provide design concepts for renovating the building. The study’s primary purpose was to identify how the union could generate additional revenues from retail units and to provide recommendations for retail concepts that would offer a more compelling retail enterprise. Our assessment of the union included meetings with campus administrators; an analysis of existing retail/service-related activities at the union; an analysis of an electronic survey of students/ faculty/staff; and a compilation of successful union operations. We issued several recommendations as a result of our study, including: improvements to the union must focus on entrances, signage, and visibility of retail; retail should be centralized into a single zone in the building; new retail must meet stated needs; and the partnership between the union foodservices and housing foodservices must improve to maximize usage of each. These recommendations have helped the university improve its retail offerings.