Have you ever heard of the RHS School Store? Chances are, you haven’t, or at least you haven’t been there yourself. The unassuming space sits next to the security desk in the main entrance, and is officially open as of September 2019. Three RHS DECA chapter members have made it their mission to revitalize this space and draw more students and parents to purchase snacks and merchandise, raising funds for the chapter and allowing students to attend DECA competitions with financial help from the chapter. Previously, the Store offered merchandise, snacks, and beverages before falling into a slump during the 2018-2019 school year. The only items for sale after school were cookies, and students rarely visited.
In their quest to improve the conditions of the storefront, Emily Truszkowski, Laura Gessmann, and Kaylin Marshall asked RHS students if they had ever visited the School Store. The overwhelming consensus of students claimed they never even heard that the School Store existed. Sofia Lee, a junior at RHS, explained that she “knew the store existed, but never visited because it didn’t look like anything was being sold in there”. Many underclassmen expressed that they had no clue that such a space existed within our school. Sophomore Sasha Golden claimed, “I walked past that room every day on my way into school, but had no idea what it was”.
RHS DECA knew that action needed to be taken if they were going to make more sales in the Store. For one, more food and drink options needed to be offered. Chapter members were polled on which food items would sell best among the students at RHS. Cliff Bars, Airhead Extremes, and Gatorade were among some of the additions made to the ‘menu’ in the Store. Freshly-baked cookies remain a best-seller, but the aforementioned added snacks and drinks act as a necessary supplement to the profits and popularity of the Store.
As for merchandise, the Store completely lacked offerings. To remedy this issue, Ms. Mendez’s Advanced Marketing class was tasked with the design of a variety of apparel and merchandise possibilities. After the design process, many of the classes in the RHS Business Department were polled on their favorite designs. Lanyards, tshirts, phone wallets, and quarter-zip sweatshirts came out on top, so the chapter members in charge of the School Store revitalization completed orders for this merchandise.
Now that merchandise and snacks are fully-stocked, the store has seen a significant increase in profits compared to the revenue of last year’s performance, and the chapter hopes that profits will only continue to increase with the introduction of different merchandise in the future. RHS DECA will continue to increase their marketing efforts on behalf of the store, and gain more information regarding the wishes of RHS students when it comes to the offerings in the School Store. The chapter even plans to rename the store soon, so a school-wide poll is being created so that RHS students can play part in rebranding the enterprise. Smaller actions such as holiday decorating and possible cosmetic improvements are also in the works to create a more appealing environment within the store.
Graphic: Sofia Lee