Andover Business Club (ABC) is developing an Amazon-style delivery service to boarding students on campus called BluBoxes. With this service, ABC hopes to help students save time and money by providing fast and simple delivery of toiletries, snacks, and school supplies right to dormitory doors.
According to Nino Stuebbe ’20, Chief Financial Officer of ABC, the endeavor will be a non-profit, in accordance with Andover’s ‘no on-campus business’ policy. All proceeds will be donated to charity.
ABC had been discussing this initiative for approximately three years, but has only recently begun to pursue it, according to Ava Long ’21, President of ABC, and Stuebbe.
Stuebbe said, “BluBoxes is sort of an idea that has been floating around in the club for a while, but [it was] only after I reintroduced it at the end of last year, and got the support of multiple board members, then we actually started working on it over the summer and wrote up, basically, a draft for what it would be, the services that we could provide. And now we’re in the process of sort of preliminary surveys to find out what people want.”
In a recent survey sent out in The Weekender, ABC asked students to share which items would be most helpful to include in the BluBoxes service. Out of the three categories — hygiene, school supplies, and snacks — students expressed the most interest in oral hygiene products, writing utensils, and beverages, according to data from the survey.
Long mentioned the club’s plan to buy goods in bulk from Jet.com, an online shopping site, in order to remain competitive with other places where students could potentially purchase their supplies, such as Amazon and CVS.
“On Jet.com, the more you buy, the cheaper everything is, so we plan on buying things from Jet.com that, per se, a boarding student might not need all of in an entire year, so it makes sense for us to buy in bulk and resell, that’s how we’re competing with them,” said Long.
Kris Aziabor ’22 said, “I think [BluBoxes] is a good idea, because sometimes Amazon may not be the best option and if there are specific things that students are looking for, and it’s accessible using the BluBoxes, then I definitely think it’s a good idea.”
Stuebbe explained how the BluBoxes would be based on a roughly two-day delivery system. Hypothetically, surveys would be sent out on Mondays and students would be delivered on Wednesday. According to Long, all items would come directly to students’ dorms.
Niara Urquhart ’21 said, “I think BluBoxes are a good idea because if they are cheaper than Amazon and CVS and if you get them within two days, then you don’t have to pay for the two-day shipping and so you don’t have to wait.”
Stuebbe said, “There will be a date where we send out a survey to the people who sign up for that, and then they click certain things that they want. We will buy it in bulk, deliver it to them, and then they will pay.”
Sima Shmuylovich ’21 appreciates the concept of BluBoxes and thinks that it could be a practical and helpful service for busy Andover students. For Shmuylovich, the most exciting thing about BluBoxes is their potential to help students save time.
“I think BluBoxes are a good idea… I think it solves the [problem] where most students wish they could order from CVS when they need something and it’s really inconvenient for them to run all the way downtown, because it’s either really late or they just don’t have the time to go downtown,” said Shmuylovich.
Long hopes that BluBoxes will become a regular and available resource on campus in the future.
“I envision Andover Business Club and BluBoxes, maybe in five years, maybe in three years, but in the future becoming another resource on campus that students who might not have an Amazon account, or who might not want to walk down to CVS for them just to be able to turn to BluBoxes and be like ‘Hey, we can just order off of BluBoxes and get it right to our door,’” said Long.