For those confused students who wandered around Cosi and Urban Outfitters on 36th Street wondering where that dorm goods store went, look no further — Furniture Campus Home Store is still in University City, just at a new location.
Furniture Campus Home Store has moved from its old spot on 36th Street to a new location at 3801 Chestnut St. The reason why the store moved, according to owner Henry Wong, is that its lease was up, and Ann Taylor wanted the space.
Wong was able to move his family-owned store from its two floor location to a one floor location next to Sitar India. Penn helped him find the new location, and Wong said he is happy with his new one floor store — he believes it is much easier to operate.
But with the change in location, Wong faced a loss in business. "We lost around a 28 percent base," Wong said, citing distance from campus as the main cause for the drop in business.
"Here, [the students] have to walk this way. The other store was on the way to the classroom," Wong said.
Wong has been in charge of Furniture Campus Home Store since it came to Penn's campus eight years ago. The store is completely family-run, which is why Penn students sometimes see young children while shopping.
Four of Wong's family members work at the store full time, and they have also hired two employees part time to assist with deliveries.
The store isn't just for supplying students with cheap dorm supplies, but while they're living in University City.
"Sometimes when students graduate, they still order from us. We deliver all the way up to New York," Wong said.
The toughest part about running the store for Wong is time. People often order products for delivery and want it instantly, but Furniture Campus Home Store's deliveries generally take three to five days, Wong said.
Wong has also struggled to keep up with the latest technology. "My marketing is more old fashioned," he said, adding that in the future he hopes to find a way to develop a mobile app and create Facebook and Twitter pages for the store.
All the furniture invoices for Furniture Campus Home Store are done by hand, a process that may seem arcane to most Penn students. When asked about this, Wong said that he tried to change over to a point-of-sale system, but he could not get enough people to help him with data entry.
Despite some difficulties, Wong finds operating the store and helping students to be a rewarding task. New students often come into the store with their parents, overwhelmed with the effort of settling into a new home, and Wong and his employees make sure to help them out.
"Serving the student makes you feel accomplished," Wong said.
Shortly after moving back to campus, College sophomore Ross Wilson realized that he needed a full sized mattress pad for his new bed. After looking at the Penn Bookstore and the pop-up Bed Bath & Beyond store in Williams Hall, he made his way over to Furniture Campus Home Store.
"It was good because they had everything I was looking for, although it was a little unorganized," Wilson said.
Wong acknowledged that the current state of his store is a bit disorganized, but he promised that as time goes on and they settle into the new location, the store will run more efficiently.
"I hope that students give us a chance," Wong said.Comments powered by Disqus
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