Student Agency Buys Harvard Shop

A few balloons, an array of cookies arranged carefully on plastic plates and assorted fruit juices marked Harvard Student Agencies (HSA)’s quiet purchase of the Harvard Shop on JFK St. Friday afternoon.

After 18 years as the owner of the Harvard Shop, Paul Corcoran had decided to retire and sell the long-time Square establishment—the only business in the Square to carry solely Harvard insignia merchandise—to HSA.

Along with Let’s Go, the Harvard Shop will be HSA’s only for-profit enterprise and its first fully-stocked retail store. The new acquisition represents at least a 20-fold increase in HSA’s inventory.

He said his choices were either to sell or liquidate his inventory, and he trusted that selling to HSA would keep the store from changing too much.

“I’m at an age where I’m getting ready to retire,” Corcoran said. “It’s been a very happy match.”

The storeowner has had a long relationship with HSA through serving on the agency’s board of directors.

Months ago, Corcoran mentioned to HSA members that he was planning to sell his shop and would then no longer be a part of the HSA board.

The idea of owning the Harvard Shop sparked the HSA’s interest, said HSA Vice President Brian C. Clay ’02.