USC’s Artifex set to shut its doors
By Marshall Bellamy
CLOSING FOR BUSINESS. Three very interested parties try
to get their hands on the goods yesterday before Artifex
closes on Mar. 12.
After years of struggling, Artifex — the University
Students’ Council’s gift store in the basement
of the University Community Centre — will be closing
its doors forever.
“We made the decision in May last year,” said
USC comptroller Karen Jackson. “Artifex actually never
made any money — it was supposed to be a profit venue.
“One year it did break even, but last year [Artifex
lost] $72,000,” she added, noting that even with inventory
written off as an accounting tax break, the store was still
losing a lot of money.
According to Jackson, the store has never made money in the
five years she has been comptroller, even though Artifex went
through a variety of changes to make it profitable.
“During that period we tried some different things,” she
explained. “We got out of art supplies and got into gifts.
That didn’t work and then we got into a smaller space
and that didn’t work.”
“It was a corporate decision; [the USC] decided the
space would be better used,” said Artifex manager Marie
Bennett explained that Artifex used to be owned by the university
administration under the name Art Crafts Studio until 1993,
when the USC took over the management of the store, changed
the name and adjusted the merchandise sold.
“It’s in the best interest of the students — it’s
the students’ money after all,” she said, referring
to the USC’s student fees that finance Artifex.
“Oh, they’re going out of business?” said
third-year health sciences student Stacy Miller. “It’s
expensive though; the only time I went in there was during
the summer to kill some time.”
“They should put something useful in there, like a liquor
store,” noted Charlotte Hall, a third-year anthropology
student, adding she had never been to Artifex.
Jackson did confirm that another venture would be taking over
Artifex’ space in the UCC basement, but could not comment
until the agreement is finalized.