By Melanie Spina
The Browse technology store on the second floor of Hillwood Commons reopened on Jan. 5 for its second semester on campus, after being closed over the holidays. “Sales have increased since our launch last fall,” said George Baroudi, LIU’s vice president of Information Technology. “This past holiday season we experienced robust sales, and at the beginning of the spring 2015 semester we are seeing even stronger sales.”
The technology store opened on Oct. 10, 2014. It sells technological products, from laptops and PlayStations to phone chargers and earphones.
Ilana Moskowitz, a graduate student in School Counseling who also works at Browse, claims that the first couple of months of sales during the fall semester were a little bit slow, but once Browse had its grand opening event on Nov. 17, everything started to pick up. “The sales are picking up with this new semester and the store is getting busier. Currently this is the most traffic and sales it has received,” Dozier said. The store was closed from Dec. 24 to Jan. 5.
Browse sells IPhone chargers, Xbox consoles, MacBooks, GoPro cameras, Beats headphones, wireless earphones, portable phone chargers, and other products. “The best thing is if you can’t find what you want here, you can put it on the wish list and then we can try to order it for the store,” Dozier said. “We have such a big variety of products so that way we can cater to everybody’s interests.” Most of the products are coming directly from the company of their respective brands.
The store has hired 12 student employees this semester, from different years and majors. Lynne Gerde, an IT specialist, manages Browse. Gerde, who is currently the only non-student worker at the store, most recently worked as the lead genius at an Apple store, controlling the genius repair bar.
Browse, according to Gerde, is funded by the IT department and has big plans to expand in the near future. “There will be a training room designed to help professors utilize the latest instructional technology.
We are also planning to offer new products such as the Microsoft Surface and Google Chrome books,” Baroudi explained.
According to Baroudi, next month, students will also have the opportunity to receive tutoring and training. “We are going to start giving courses for people who are not too tech-savvy in the room [next to] us, which was emptied out for this purpose,” said Dozier. The classes will last for about 30 to 90 minutes, and will be technological workshop and personal enrichment classes for students. The classes will begin running next month, according to Moscuell. They are still finalizing the specific pricing for the workshops, but he believes that it will cost approximately $25 an hour.
Students are still welcome to use the help desk at the IT department in the library to ask questions. “I don’t think I would personally use the classes, just because I am not really interested in spending money on something like that,” said Marisa Kofmehl, a junior Public Relations major. “I do think it’s a good idea for students who are willing to pay to further their understandings in technology.”
Browse will also be adding repair services for students with broken devices next month, according to Gerde. There will be technicians who will repair the products, and the cost will depend on the type of damage of the product. She also stated that there will be a trading program where you can earn credit towards a new purchase. “The trading program should be fully running by next month,” Moscuell said. “The way it work[s] is that if you bring in your IPhone 4, you can trade it in and get about $150 for it and put it towards another purchase.”
Gerde believes that the fact that Browse’s inventory is based on student demand makes it a very unique tech store, which is conveniently located on campus. The LIU Brooklyn campus will also be opening its own version of Browse next month.
Browse is open Monday to Fridays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The phone number is 516 -299-22500 and students can follow Browse on social media at facebook.com/ BrowseLIUPost.
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