In a recent video release, Guild president, Conrad Hogg announced that a deal has been struck with IGA and the store is set to open its doors on campus very soon. Speaking to Pelican Magazine, he revealed the supermarket will be located where Guild Village Café currently stands. Although an opening date has not yet been estimated, work is being tendered and they are “hoping to get the ball rolling pretty quickly.” When asked of the motives behind the deal, Conrad stated, “We have made this move because having a convenience store on campus is a great opportunity for students, and will offer good value food.”

Given the recent updates regarding the Ref delays, it is unsurprising the student body has countless questions in response to the news. So, Pelican magazine has endeavoured to find the answers.

A 24-hour IGA?

Despite the lack of food options available on campus after hours, Conrad dispelled the rumour that the store will be a 24/7 affair. The exact opening times will be decided upon by the franchise.

So, sorry folks, the vending machines will still have to satisfy your midnight munching needs.

Will Broadway still be open?

Pelican spoke to the Manager of Broadway Nedlands IGA, Hassan, who assured us that his shop is “going nowhere” and will “remain open” from 7 am to 10 pm. He expressed no concern about the arrival of the UWA outlet, stating his prices would be unmatched.

This does, however, leave the question of whether the private franchise will introduce comparably higher prices than usual As the only supermarket on campus, will this result in a ‘monopolistic competition’ and profiting off the average student. (Or is that just the price we pay for convenience?)  We’ll just have to wait and see.

How will this affect Cafés on campus?

Guild Village Café will be closing down to make room for the store but the general consensus is it won’t be sorely missed. Plus, Conrad disclosed to Pelican a mysterious grab-and-go café will be opening in its replacement. (Did I hear Starbucks?) Although staff dismissed any concerns regarding competition, there’s no denying that when a broke student is given the option of buying lunch for cheaper, they’ll grab it in a heartbeat.  Fork out $9.95 for over-priced sushi? Or $3 for rice and beans? I know which one I’d pick.

So, what’s the point?

Much to our surprise, this is the big question that’s leaving some student’s lips. Why open IGA on campus when there’s already one just a 5-minute walk away? Why not a Woolworths? A Coles? Or even better an Aldi?  Perhaps, bringing a mass conglomerate to campus would be a little too much. And a multinational company like Aldi would certainly spark an outcry of concern. (No, not the cheap wine!)  IGA is little. Local. A harmless fish in the sea of corporate sharks.

So, whether you believe this the beginning of capitalism encroaching on our pristine campus’ doorstep or are eagerly anticipating the ability to grocery shop between lectures, we’ll leave this one up for you to decide.

At the end of the day, the product variety an IGA store will offer means we’ll be one step closer to becoming practically ‘self-sufficient’ on campus. For better or worse, soon you’ll be able to shop, cook and eat without leaving campus. And you probably won’t have to dig as deep into the budget either.

What do you think? Send us your thoughts, under “IGA” to pelican@guild.uwa.edu.au

Words by Susie Charkey