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January 23, 2013 10:00 AM Walmart Goes to College

By Daniel Luzer

And campus activists used to be bothered by fast food venues on campus.

It turns out the latest trend in the corporate takeover of academia is Walmart on campus. But will this result in “always low prices” in campus stores?

According to an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Walmart is going back to school in Atlanta. The retailer plans to open a miniature version of its typical store on the Georgia Tech campus in the second quarter of this year…. It will be Walmart’s smallest store in the U.S.
The Walmart on Campus concept is a test format that focuses on pharmacy, basic grocery, health and beauty aids and general merchandise products, said Steven Restivo, senior director of community affairs for Walmart.

The result of this remains to be seen. In general campus stores are notorious for gouging students with high prices. They can do this because of a lack of competition (if there’s only one place on campus to buy toothpaste, the college bookstore store can charge $6 for it). Walmart, however, prides itself on offering very low prices to consumers. So what’s going to happen. Will campus Walmart offer goods at Walmart prices, or at campus prices?

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer