Over the past few months, a number of local businesses frequented by UCSB students have terminated.Â
One of the first to close was on the UCSB campus itself. Not long ago, the empty space next to the University Centerâ€™s Jamba Juice onceÂ belonged to STA Travel. On June 27, STA Travel closed down 46 of its officesÂ nationwide with the UCSB branch becoming a victim of the immediate closures. This occurred strictly due to orders coming from the STA Travel corporate office and, as an effect, STA customers were directed to their online website to book flights.
Â Â The STA Travel office was predominantly known to book cheap airÂ flights for students and its location made it convenient forÂ students who wished to speak to a representative personally. In addition to booking services, the agency provided students with International Student Identification Cards (ISIC) for time spent outside of the country. While some students see the closure as unfortunate, others remain unaffected. â€œIt doesnâ€™t really affect me since I book all my flights online,â€ said Ashley Day, a third year political science major. â€œThey are usually a lot cheaper compared to the STA travel agentsâ€™ suggestions.â€
UCen director Alan Kirby said the former STA TravelÂ office will now be a branch for Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions. â€œIt seemed to be a very good fit for the UCen since the majority of their clients are UCSB students who sign up for graduate school test taking preparation,â€ he said. The prospective office is set to open on November 1 of this year.Â
Other well-known businesses outside of campus also suffered closures, including Morninglory Music on State Street in downtown Santa Barbara. The closure came as a surprise to most students who returned for the school year. Morninglory was known to provide shelves and racks of used movies and CDs at affordable prices. Along with Morninglory, Pier 1 Imports, Santa Barbara Bridal, and a number of mom-and-pop antique shops have also closed. Many liquidations have been the result of exceedingly high rent and poor business.
Â Â Closures affecting the UCSB community are a concern for its residents, especially the owners of small shops. Smaller chain stores run the risk of closure because of instability in attracting customers and paying rent for their space. For now, the lookout for other Santa Barbara shop losses continues.