To “School Store” or not to “School Store” that is the question plaguing many Elementary school staff, PTA and PTO parents. There’s no question starting a school store can be challenging to say the least. But we feel the benefits far outweigh the obstacles. And with a little creativity and careful planning we’re sure you will too.
So why have a school store you ask? These are just some of the benefits:
- A school store is convenient for students, teachers, and even parents. Did they forget their pencil, run out of notebook paper, or leave their folders on the bus? A school store offers an on-site place to replenish much needed supplies. It saves parents an extra trip to the store and it gets the goods in the student’s hands fast.
- Promote School Spirit and build morale. Carry products in your school colors, and sell items with your school name, logo or mascot, such as apparel, school supplies and spirit items. As students make purchases and begin to show their school spirit, other kids can’t help but catch on. It becomes contagious.
- Teach kids valuable business lessons. Working in the school store has enormous benefits for kids, giving them their first real-world experiences with business operations, marketing, inventory, cash exchanges and sales. They’re also your best advertising reps. they’ll help you create posters and encourage their friends to shop, shop, shop!
- Fundraising! Your school store can and WILL make profits for your school. Plan carefully and those profits could be substantial. There are a thousand possibilities of how to use those profits. You could put them all into a general fund, an activity fund, a PTA project. You can have one class or group run the store each week, and earn the profits from that week, or designate each week or month towards one program at your school, such as music, arts, athletics, etc. Maybe you could fill a need within your school, does the computer lab need new equipment? The library need new books? The playground need a new slide?
- Flexibility – the wonderful thing about starting a school store is that YOU get to decide how to run it. You choose the merchandise, hours, location and business plan. There are no rules, so do what works for your school and you will reap the rewards!