The Quick24 mini market near the sports center has been permanently closed down and plans of a replacement are currently being made after the market failed to fulfill the expectations of students residing in the dorms, according to officials.
The store that has been the sole provider of groceries and other goods for dorm residents since the university moved to the New Cairo campus in 2008 and was known on-campus for its high prices. Students have complained that a cereal box costs a minimum of 35L.E
Sachi Virahsawmy, resident director at the dorms, called the now-closed Quick24 store “unaffordable” and said the store failed to offer basic products that the students needed.
He further explained that it was not until last semester, when the Quick24 was threatened to be closed down, did it start to provide grocery staples such as cheese, eggs, bread, and other products that were in high demand by the students.
Vairahsawmy called this step an “improvement, but not substantial”.
The food services committee composed of students and faculty members proposed that a grocery-type store would be suitable to cater to the AUC community and plans were made to have a Metro store open with affordable prices and quality products.
“Metro had been scheduled to operate by the third week of August,” said Brian MacDougall, Vice President for Planning and Administration.
However, the deal was not completed. The original agreement with Metro stated that the supermarket would offer quality products at supplier prices; however at the beginning of last August, the owners informed the university that they would be charging higher prices than they had initially agreed to. This breach of the agreement led to its termination.
However, plans are currently being made to open a new market instead.
In the meantime, residents of the dorms are provided with buses free of charge to Rehab at 6pm, 9pm and Midnight, to purchase their everyday necessities.
On-campus dorm resident Yousra Habib was frustrated to come to her room days before the semester began to find out that Metro has not opened yet, explaining that they were not informed that there would be no grocery store on campus.
“This is not a good way to start the semester. We have not been informed by email from the administration that there will be no supermarket when we arrive, and Tabasco is not good enough to sustain us,” she says.
She further explained that there should be more buses going to Rehab until this problem is solved.
Under regular circumstances, buses outside of campus even to Rehab are at a fee for dorm residents.
The smaller Quick store near the SSE remains and shall remain open for students on campus during its regular hours.
Yasmin El Beih