The Daily Gamecock

Student-run Apple store opens at USC for students, faculty, staff, alumni

<p>Students working at the new iHub clap as people enter the store. The store opened Aug. 13, 2021, and will service and provide Apple products to the USC community.</p>

Students working at the new iHub clap as people enter the store. The store opened Aug. 13, 2021, and will service and provide Apple products to the USC community.

Students, faculty, staff and alumni can now use the iHub, USC's student-run Apple store, which opened Aug. 13. 

The second student-run store in the nation is located on the first floor of the Byrnes Building across from the Horseshoe and will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

The store will service Apple products and have products available for purchase. IPhones will not be sold at the store.

"We have literally everything else other than iPhones," Sarah Fowler, fourth-year retail student, said. "Anything that we don't carry in the store ... we're able to order anything from Apple that we need."

The interior of the iHub Apple store. The store offers Apple products in addition to services for those products.

Those affiliated with the university will receive an academic discount with a valid I.D., according to university spokesperson Jeff Stensland. The discount varies from product to product. The academic discount gives USC community members $100 off MacBook Pros, Stensland said.

The iHub is run out of the School of Retail, Hospitality and Management (HRSM). Student interns, such as Fowler, are paid and work at the store as part of Retail 295 and 495 classes. Fowler worked at iHub as a for-credit internship for her Retail 495 class over the summer and helped build the store.

"As new interns come in, they'll get to experience how to work in a store, small projects like inventory management and other things like that, that they might not get at a retail job," Fowler said.

The idea for the iHub began with an Apple kiosk that was placed at Russell House nearly a decade ago, according to Bill Kirkland, executive director of economic engagement at USC. The kiosk is not still in use.

"The vision I had is ... if we can do this, how do we do it as it relates to student experiences in real life, as a learning lab?" Kirkland said.

After talking with the business dean of Creighton University, which is home to the first student-run Apple store, the idea of the student-run iHub came to be. According to Kirkland, all profits made by the store will go back into the HRSM.

University Interim President Harris Pastides said he wants iPhones "in the not-so distant future" to be included in the store, in addition to a larger retail environment and more collaboration between USC and Apple. 

"Now that we have this as the nucleus, I think we can find those areas to collaborate, as well," Pastides said.

Masks are "strongly encouraged" inside the store, Stensland said.