Following the University’s buy-back of Arc retail stores, the Pharmacy at UNSW has been told that it may need to restrict its product offerings to medicinal products only, in a move that Tim Kaliyanda, President of the Student Representative Council labeled ‘exploitative’ and unfair to students.
Rumours have circulated since the buy-out that the University is planning to increase lease revenue by raising rent by approximately 70%.
Further, some sources have told Tharunka that talks are in progress with a number of retail chains, including Coles, for the lease of the Quad Arc store premises. According to some following the matter, the restrictions to be placed upon the Pharmacy could certainly be part of those negotiations.
However, Robert Kelly, the Director of Facilities Management declined to comment citing confidential negotiations. “With regard to the proposed retail outlets at Gate 2, submissions from interested operators closed approximately 2 weeks ago. The number of submissions received far exceeds the spaces available, and are currently being assessed.,” he said.
When asked about the restrictions to be placed upon the Pharmacy, he told Tharunka that negotiations were still in progress. The Pharmacy, through its Facebook page, told students it was petitioning the University to reconsider.
Kaliyanda said Professor Hilmer should show some leadership and put an end to this kind of retail strategy. “The irony of having a vice-chancellor well-versed in the virtues of free-markets opposing competiton to protect corporate interests certainly isn’t lost on the student body,” he told Tharunka.
A Coles spokesperson was unavailable for comment.