Office supply store prepares to shut down

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Departments around campus will have to find a new source for office supplies in the near future as KSU Office Supplies is set to close this semester.

The supply store, located on the ground floor of the K-State Student Union, is scheduled to close its doors on Nov. 30, after nearly 40 years of business.

“I’m not very thrilled; it’s unfortunate,” said Sandy Barnes, office supply coordinator.

Barnes is the only full-time employee who works at the office supply store, and she has worked there for almost 20 years. She often has students work in the store with her as well.

With several new office supply options, the K-State store is unable to keep up, and staying open is no longer practical.

“It’s something that we’ve been seeing coming for a while,” said Carla Bishop, director of purchasing for the division of financial services. “We’ve had a number of changes occurring, and one of them is the state of Kansas contract for office supplies. One implemented a desktop delivery.”

This desktop delivery service is now available to departments from Staples Advantage, where they can order supplies online and receive them in one to two days.

Bishop said for the state of Kansas contract, the state estimated a long-term agreement for office supplies covering all of Kansas.

Stores under this contract provide discounts for the items departments need. She said there are core items, like the commonly used sticky notes or legal pads, that receive a discount, as well as standard items.

Under the new contract, several other vendors are involved, allowing for more flexibility among consumers.

Barnes said people at K-State might find the Internet options more convenient, but if a faculty member is working and runs out of supplies, the campus supply store is more convenient.

The store has provided departments quick access to necessary classroom and office supplies, like ink cartridges, Scantron sheets and notepads, which faculty often need.

Some faculty members find the closing of the store an unexpected inconvenience.

“I’ve used the office supplies for the 13 years I’ve been here,” said Teresa Ivy, administrative specialist for the College of Business Administration.

Ivy said her department orders from the supply store a couple of times a semester.

“We make a list and get everything we need,” she said. “We’ll miss them.”

Ivy said the department members will have to set up time during a staff meeting to discuss and investigate where they would like to get their office supplies from now on.

One part Ivy said she will miss about the supply store is Barnes.

“It was always fun to go there,” she said. “She was always very helpful and really, really accommodating to everything we needed.”

The store will continue its normal hours through the end of November to sell any leftover merchandise.

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