Students have complained about prices at the UCLA Store market being more expensive than stores such as Target and Ralph’s.
The UCLA Store market sells an array of food, drinks, toiletries and cleaning supplies, carrying many of the same products as other grocery stores in Westwood. Christina Manuel, the Communications & Social Media Manager for Associated Students UCLA, said in an emailed statement that prices at the UCLA Store are more comparable to small markets and convenience stores.
She added that the prices of goods are determined by many factors, including restocking abilities, the availability of a product and the quantity of the purchased product.
However, pricing at UCLA stores across campus, especially for food, has been a point of frustration for some students, who said products are more expensive than at chain stores such as Target and Ralph’s.
Rimona Reyter, a first-year world arts and cultures student, said she’s noticed higher prices at the UCLA Store than other supermarkets.
“I think there’s a markup, just because I don’t think a bag of chips at the supermarket is $6. But here … it’s easily $6,” Reyter said.
There is a slight price difference between products sold at the UCLA Store and Target. For example, a pack of Goldfish, a common cheese-based snack, cost $3.99 at the UCLA Store, a dollar more expensive than Target’s $2.99 price. A family size pack of Oreo cookies cost $6.29 at the UCLA Store but $4.99 at Target.
However, there isn’t a large gap in the prices of toiletries sold at the UCLA store compared to prices at Target. Old Spice Classic deodorant costs $4.89 both at the UCLA Store and Target. Some toiletries are even less expensive at the UCLA Store than at Target – for example, a pack of 26 Always menstrual pads also costs $6.49 at the UCLA Store and $7.99 at Target.
Despite the increased prices, some students said it does not deter them from shopping at the UCLA Store.
Audrey Moussazadeh, a first-year human biology and society student, said although the prices are more comparable to what she sees at Whole Foods than other budget supermarkets, she still shops at the UCLA Store because of its convenient location. She added that she thinks prices at the UCLA Store are inflated because of its convenience to students.
Manuel said in the emailed statement that part of the reason for the higher prices is that UCLA does not have the same capacity to buy in bulk as stores like Target and Ralph’s.
She added that this inhibits UCLA from being able to set prices in the same way as chain stores.
Manuel also said in the statement that money earned in the store goes back into supporting ASUCLA.
“Those who shop at the UCLA Store are assured their money goes back to support student jobs, student career ladders, programs and services for the Bruin community,” Manuel said in the statement.