The University of South Carolina announced a partnership with Apple Inc. to open an Apple Authorized Campus Store (AACS) in early 2021 in the heart of the Columbia. This store will be the first of its kind in the region and only the second AACSs in the nation managed and operated by students.
The store, which will be located in the first floor of the Byrnes Building on the corner of Sumter and College streets, will feature a wide range of Apple products on display and for sale, from tablets and laptops to accessories like AirPods. These products will be available for purchase by anyone affiliated with the university—students, faculty, staff and alumni.
Jeffrey Campbell, chair of the Department of Retailing within the College of Hospitality, Retail, and Sport Management (HRSM), and Matt Brown, interim dean of HRSM, will lead the project. HRSM faculty will assist in store management and students will perform day-to-day store operations as part of their experiential learning curriculum. Apple authorized staff will conduct in-house service and repair on products.
“The student-run Apple Campus Store concept is a tremendous opportunity for our students,” Brown said. “UofSC is only the second university in the country to adopt this model, and our HRSM students will gain invaluable experience working with a global retail leader in Apple.”
UofSC’s Office of Innovation, Partnerships, and Economic Engagement (OIPEE) led the efforts to forge the business partnership with Apple. The university will use proceeds from sales to pay for the storefront upfit and operations, and ultimately look for opportunities to fund research for faculty and students.
“UofSC’s partnership with Apple is a continuation of our commitment to offering our students the very best experiential learning opportunities,” said Bill Kirkland, Executive Director, OIPEE. “The future of higher education is moving in the direction of closer collaboration between industry and academia, and there is no better example for our students to follow than one set by one of the world’s most innovative companies, Apple.”