The New Student Store: “By Students, for Students.”

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Matthew Meyer ‘12

store.pngThat’s exactly what you’ll hear managers David Ernst ’10 and Alexis Marie Wint ’09 say if you ask them about the Student Store. “We’re by students, for students. That’s really all there is to it.”

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Alexis Marie Wint

Until September, Follett managed both the physical inventory and online access to books. When they decided to offer only online access, students stepped up to the plate to establish a new Student Store that opened right on schedule on October 1st.

Located on the 3rd floor of the Student Union, the shelves are now full of what any student would need. Microwavable food and bags of candy to fill your afternoon cravings, and notebooks and paper for class notes and writing assignments. You can find all of your basic cleaning needs, and everything you need for everyday hygiene.

“From the very beginning, this store was never about profit.” David explained. “The idea was to pull together the pride and positive feelings everyone had about this school and use it to make something that works for everyone. Students work here – although we had way too many worthy applicants to accept them all – and students buy here. We don’t need advertising or anything like that. We’re here to stock whatever you need.”

Up on the other side of the wall, Alexis pointed out a dry-erase board full of lists. “A kind of improvement board.” She pointed at a specific tally. “That’s the number of people who have wanted to pay with their student account today. We’re working on that, because we know students want to use it.” On the other side were paper lists. “If we ever get any requests for things to stock, or advice on how to improve the store, it goes right here.”

Although business was a little slow in the store’s first week, David and Alexis attribute that to timing.

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David Ernst in the store

“Opening right before break, during mid-terms, isn’t the best time for business,” David said.” Once break is over, and we get more feedback on the times we should be open and things like that, I think we’ll do just fine. Besides, we’ve got everyone here supporting us.”

The Student Store’s prices are oriented around students, too. Comparing prices in the store with that of a major retailer, I couldn’t find anything the store was selling that was overpriced. Many items are even cheaper than in a convenience store.

When asked about the future of the Student Store, both David and Alexis were optimistic. “We already have plans for how we can update the store. We have an app for our stock list, and we’re working on an online in-stock list. And we’re working on the student accounts,” David said. “Besides all that, we’re really fortunate that the school is backing us, especially Student Life. With the school’s help, and all the help we’re getting from the other students, we know it will be a success.”

When asked what they wanted to tell other students about the store, they both laughed and said the same thing. “Well, they know where we are. Support the Student Store!”