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Den sales drop 20 per cent from last September

By Scott Strasser, October 27 2014 —

Despite their $8 triples and 2-for-1 entrees, sales at the Den and Black Lounge are significantly lower than they were at this time last year.

According to Students’ Union vice-president operations and finance Adam Swertz, the Den’s sales this September were roughly 20 per cent lower than they were in Sept. 2013.

Swertz blames the drop on Calgary’s snowstorm during the first week of this year’s fall semester.

“That first week’s Thursday tends to be our biggest sales for the entire year,” Swertz said. “Nobody was there. It was a ghost town all over campus. We knew halfway through the month that our sales were going to be down.”

Swertz also said sales suffered because of students’ declining interest in events on campus.

“In past years we had cabarets where five to seven hundred [people] was our range for a successful cabaret. Now it’s more like two to three hundred. The culture of going out feels like it’s dwindling on campus,” Swertz said.

While Swertz said a 20 per cent drop in sales is noticeable, the SU doesn’t try to make a large profit from the Den and Black Lounge.

“We operate the Den as a service. We budget for around $50,000 take home, so our profit margin is almost non-existent, and we do that intentionally,” Swertz said.

In 2013, the Den and Black Lounge’s sales accounted for $2,062,366, roughly 11 per cent of the revenue the SU collects.

The SU sets the Den’s budget at a little over $2 million per year.

“Our prices are literally as low as we can make them. We know it’s a student bar. We want people to come out and enjoy it. We could certainly run a more financially successful bar, but we’d rather keep it as cheap as possible,” Swertz said.

September, October and January tend to be the Den and Black Lounge’s busiest months. December is usually the slowest.

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