A five-minute ride north on the 57 Freeway from Cal State Fullerton will lead you to the Brea Mall, the new home of The Trunk, a 2,000-square-foot branch of CSUFâ€™s Titan Shops.
The extension of the student bookstore hopes to market the Fullerton brand and cater to the alumni community.
Peter Poon, associate director of The Trunk, said 1,000 shirts were ordered for the grand opening this past Saturday in part of a one-day promotion that offered CSUF T-shirts for $1. Poon said the shirts sold out within four hours of the store opening.
â€œWe realized thereâ€™s a huge alumni community outside of the university. The alumni association came back and said that almost 100,000 alumni live within a 20-mile radius of the university,â€ said Poon.
Chuck Kissel, store director of Titan Shops, was in attendance Saturday and was pleased with the opening.
â€œThe opening on Saturday was well received by customers. It definitely seemed like The Trunk was the busiest store that morning,â€ said Kissel.
The Trunk, which is located on the second floor across from the food court, carries a larger selection of sizes and caters to more consumers, offering baby clothes, more polo shirts and extended sizes for women.
â€œWe just want more and more people to wear the Fullerton brand to bring more notoriety to the university,â€ Poon said.
Nelly Jalilvand, an English major at CSUF, has been working at the store for the past week. Although she thinks the response has been positive since the storeâ€™s opening, Jalilvand feels many people may still not be aware of The Trunk. With more advertising over the next few weeks, she feels as though more students, especially alumni, will be aware of how convenient this new store is.
â€œI think this store is a lot easier for people to look for clothing. Itâ€™s not as crowded, and you donâ€™t have to struggle to find parking just to go shop,â€ said Jalilvand.
A branch of Titan Shops has always been in the talks since back in 2004, Poon said. However, due to budget, no available space for a location at the mall and long lease requirements, the idea for an off-campus retail store has not been realized until now.
â€œThe timing was right this time. It would have been a different situation to get the university to support something like that back then,â€ Poon said. â€œIf you walk around the mall, for the first time in a long time they have a lot of vacancies. The mall wanted to fill in some of these stores and they thought we would be a good fit,â€ he added.
Jalilvand has seen several alumni come in as well as future Titans. She explained that during one morning, a future Titan who will be attending CSUF on a baseball scholarship stopped in with his mom to stock up on school merchandise for the entire family.
Baseball merchandise is a hot item at The Trunk, she said.
â€œWe have a lot of baseball hats that the baseball players wear at Cal State Fullerton, so a lot of people are buying those,â€ Jalilvand said.
The Trunk has a six-month lease with the Brea Mall, but Poon hopes if the store is a success they can extend the lease and possibly even open up other branches at other locations.
â€œIf itâ€™s a success then we can definitely look outside the box and Santa Ana (Main Place Mall) would be the most logical place,â€ Poon said.
One problem that may limit the expansion of other branches, according to Poon, is the logistics. All of The Trunkâ€™s merchandise is shipped to Titan Shops and then transported to the Brea Mall. With just over two miles between both locations, transporting merchandise has not been an issue. However a farther location in Santa Ana Main Place or the Irvine Spectrum Center could halt plans to branch out.
Currently, Poon and Kissel are working with the Alumni Association to get a list of customers to contact and inform about the new store.