Andover Stores Average 15% Profit from Students

Downtown Andover is one of the few convenient outlets from the figurative Andover bubble. It serves as a mini-getaway from schoolwork and midterms. Only a ten to fifteen minute walk downtown provides haircuts, donuts, toiletries, sushi, bagels, and the PA favorite: caffeine. The atmosphere is always lively. It is apparent how much downtown Andover means to Phillips Academy students, but downtown businesses also benefits from PA. Downtown real estate is much more expensive than in surrounding areas, and small business owners often struggle to purchase their own property. Therefore, stores and restaurants must cater to everyone in the neighborhood, including Andover students. The store with the closest relationship to PA is the Andover Bookstore, owned and managed by John Hugo ’62 and his family. The Andover Bookstore was originally founded in 1809 as a printing press; it is almost as old as the Academy. Fifteen years ago, Mr. Hugo’s family purchased the Andover Bookstore, which continues as a thriving business. Mr. Hugo said, “The public definitely knows [when the students are coming in for textbooks] and they tend to avoid the store then.” He estimated that one fourth to one third of his yearly profit comes from PA students at the beginning of each term and during Summer Session. However, according to Mr. Hugo, about five students go the store regularly to buy books during the terms. “I try to be as helpful as I can for the students, and I do everything I can to help the school. Mr. Hugo has further ambitions for the Bookstore; he would like to construct a café with free coffee and cookies and a wireless Internet service. “I bought my textbooks here [as a student],” he added. “We’ve always been this school’s bookstore, and…we wouldn’t want [it any other way.]” The most popular reason to walk downtown is for an alternative to Commons food. Starbucks is always full of businessmen, soccer moms, and of course, PA students. At Starbucks the employees are so rushed to fill orders that they barely have time to chat with customers. “Phillips Academy students? We like ‘em. Just like we like all business,” said an employee, before rushing off to create a caramel frappuccino. When asked if Andover students affect her business, she answered politely, “I can’t really sit down and talk. Talking to you right now is affecting my business.” Nevertheless, Starbucks is probably the most popular place downtown. However, with stores all over the world, Andover students do not have a great effect on their profits. Starbucks is located next to Breugger’s Bagels, and both benefit from each other’s business. General Manager of Breugger’s said, “This place got started solely because of the high traffic volume.” He also estimated that five to fifteen percent of its income comes from PA students. “We could survive without PA, but it certainly contributes to the sales volume. When students go on break there’s actually an increase in business [but] I don’t believe the public minds the omnipresence of the students,” he said. “PA is part of what makes Andover, Andover.” More formal restaurants like Yama and Bertucci’s are also extremely popular. Yama boasts a wide selection of sushi and other Japanese favorites such as chicken, beef, and salmon teriyaki, and tempora, while Bertucci’s is well-known for its bread rolls and pizza. “Whenever I go to Yama, it’s full of PA kids. I think they go there because of the variety… Bertucci’s is usually crowded, but it’s more often full of the [Andover public].” said Suzanne Hwang ’08. Sinha added, “[Bertucci’s] provides a homey atmosphere I think a lot of people miss on campus.” Students also find downtown Andover convenient because they can buy items not available on campus. For most students, especially those without access to cars, CVS Pharmacy provides of the basics: shampoo and toiletries, cough drops, and snacks for late study nights. Sinha said, “[CVS is] on a busy street so the majority of the customers come on foot. Who else walks? [Students] do…I think [CVS is] more beneficial to PA Andover than the town of Andover. It ought to be on campus.” Lee Friedman, Assistant Manager of Athlete’s Corner, estimated the income from PA students at 10 to 15 percent. The store, founded 14 years ago, provides athletic supplies to students. Mr. Friedman was actually stringing the rackets for Andover’s Varsity Tennis team before his interview. He said, “I think the general public tolerates [students]. PA kids tend to be more mature.” A more hidden shop that has outlasted the coming and going of other small businesses is the Andover Gift Shop owned and run by Debbie Lane. It sells jewelry and trinkets ranging from candles to tapestries. It was her childhood dream to have her own shop and she has run the gift shop successfully for 24 years. “Less than 10 percent of my income comes from PA students. I actually get more faculty coming down here, especially for graduation presents.” Ms. Lane said. “PA is part of what the town is…. And I love [the students].”