Students influence DECA Store
In the back corner of the Student Center is an unmistakable blue and red structure known as the DECA Store. This well-known installation is a unique addition to Heritage High School.
It garners much of its business during football games, holidays, the end of the school year, parent-teacher conferences, Back to School Night and Showcase Night when parents and underclassmen have the most demand and ease of access to buying Heritage apparel.
“I think that the DECA store is a good idea. It’s nice to have a place in the school to buy things from Heritage,” says Erica Brooks ’16.
The DECA Store is unlike other retailers or businesses in that it is a student-run organization whose revenues go directly into buying more merchandise and investing in student-made products.
“The revenues go into an account and then it is pooled into buying new merchandise. It is not like a regular store that has to pay rent; we have no expenses. It’s like any other club or sport,” says Ms. Barb Bolen, the marketing teacher and DECA Store Supervisor.
The store is indeed unique due to the fact that it operates within school property, therefore it does not experience competition with other stores and property taxes as is the case with ordinary retailers. Essentially, the store does not have to fight to survive in its market, thus enabling it to fund itself on a perpetual system of selling products, buying new merchandise and saving what is left over.
“We talk about things that are working and that don’t work and discuss how to improve sales. I’ve wanted to bring in a kid product—something they have invented—into the store,” says Bolen.
The store is operated by the marketing class, utilizing a co-curricular structure in which students participating in the marketing class have the dual responsibility to also work in the DECA Store. Most everything brought up in the class is applied directly to developing the store through pricing, promotion and production.
However, the DECA Store is not without its obstacles, one being its obscure location in the Student Center that does not do to promote the accessibility of the store or expand its consumer market. Even so, its impact on the student body is perceptible in both the marketing students themselves and the rest of the Heritage populace.
“I think it’s great walking down the hallway seeing a student wearing a Heritage shirt from our store. It’s a good enhancement to school spirit for students not in a sport. [The marketing students] are getting job experience and something to put on a résumé,” says Bolen.by
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