The Associated Students of Washington State University last month co-sponsored a student-administered survey with the Pullman Chamber of Commerce to find out what businesses students would like to see come to town.

More than 20 students from Professor Donald Stem’s marketing research course have tabulated the preliminary findings of the survey.

With the results, ASWSU and the chamber of commerce hope to quantify student interest in certain businesses. According to Fritz Hughes, director of the chamber of commerce, the results could be used to recruit popular businesses that require a population minimum.

“Businesses do very well in Pullman once they get here,” ASWSU President Brea Thompson said. “However, brand-name companies are often afraid of our small market, but an example like Quiznos, which rose to fifth-selling in the nation within six months, is a testament to the demand in Pullman, despite our small size.”

When ask what type of new eating establishment they would most like to see open in Pullman, 24.3 percent of students polled chose a sit-down restaurant with a bar or lounge and 18 percent chose an ethnic buffet (i.e. Chinese, Italian, etc.). Students’ first choice for a type of restaurant was 18.7 percent for a steakhouse and 16.9 percent for an Italian establishment. When asked their preference for new fast food restaurants, 24.1 percent chose Taco Bell, followed by Wendy’s with 17 percent. Students’ first choice for a sit-down style restaurant was Red Robin with 26.2 percent, followed by Olive Garden with 21.7 percent. When asked about their entertainment choices, 33.3 percent of students said they would like a new dance club and 16.9 percent wanted to see a new comedy club. Students’ first choice for a new retail clothing store was 13 percent for American Eagle Outfitters and 12.8 percent for Old Navy. When asked what retail store they would most like to see, 27.2 percent voted for Target and 14.4 percent voted for Best Buy.

Thompson said ASWSU’s involvement in this project is well within their responsibilities.

“ASWSU’s primary function is to advocate for student needs and this is a way for students to directly influence the business options in Pullman,” Thompson said. “We are happy to co-sponsor such an effort.”

The data was collected from telephone interviews administered to 683 WSU students from the Pullman campus between Oct. 4 and 14. The sample of students was selected from the WSU data bank by a simple random sample. The population sampled was students enrolled on the 10th day of class for fall semester for six or more credits and that had local phone numbers. The precision of the estimates is +/- 3.7 percent or less at a 95 percent confidence level.

COURTESY OF WSU NEWS BUREAU