The off-campus bookstore run by the Cal Poly Pomona Foundation is sliding further into debt each month, reaching a deficit of $82,084 on May 31, the latest date for which figures are available, officials said Tuesday.
Campus Books, which is located in a mini-mall near the school, may close by year's end--within a year of opening--if sales do not improve, Pat Lattore, the foundation's executive director, told the foundation board.
Lattore said the foundation might bring in an outside consultant to help decide what to do and expects to make recommendations at the foundation's Sept. 27 board meeting.
Cal Poly President and Foundation Chairman Bob Suzuki said he approved the opening of Campus Books last January on the advice of his staff because another bookstore was considering leasing the storefront and setting up shop as a competitor.
But little market research or planning was done to see whether the bookstore would make a profit. In addition to a debt of at least $82,000, Campus Books also borrowed $100,000 from Bronco Books, the on-campus bookstore, to pay start-up costs. That money must be paid back.
Suzuki said the bookstore was intended to serve the public as well as students from Cal Poly and Mt. San Antonio College, but officials concede it has not attracted enough business.
"We have concerns about the performance," said Charles Watkins, a board member who is director of the University Union. "It's not meeting the projections we had anticipated for it."