We’re all aware of what January in Michigan brings…it’s dark, it’s cold, snow falls, and…
Training the next generation of retail leaders
For as long as Alpena High School students can remember, the Campus Closet has been open for business. What likely started as a quick pit-stop to buy a pencil or small snack between classes has merged into a full-scale, student-run retail store.
Marketing teacher and Campus Closet student advisor Melissa Timmreck, along with student store managers, Gianna Bolda and Paige Timmreck, share how the Marketing Program, and Campus Closet specifically, have paved the way toward their future dreams.
Their Normal High School Experience
Gianna – Students that visits the Campus Closet are most likely looking to buy a beverage, candy, or quick snack, but we also offer a variety of clothing – including our best-seller, hooded sweatshirts.
We operate during school hours and aren’t open to the general public, but we have an online store where orders can be placed and we’ve created a system to run purchases out to those that ordered online. The pandemic did affect some of our general public sales, but our high school is also a closed campus during the day, so the general public can’t just come in and shop on a whim. Student workers also have to attend their other core classes.
When you take the initial marketing class with Mrs. Timmreck, you first help out at the Campus Closet by re-stocking items, re-folding, and learning the small details into what it takes to run a retail store. It was interesting and fun, and it made me want to take the secondary marketing classes and gain more experience running my own business.
Paige – Student involvement and responsibility has grown over the years. We have vendors visit us to talk about their products and we decide what colors to bring into the store, the different fonts we’d like to use, and the different logos. It’s interesting to look into our system and see what’s been selling best and to use that data to decide what products to buy more of and what products we may need to cut back on.
Melissa – We have 12 student employees running the store and the other 80 students in the marketing program help out on other various tasks. Help also comes from Marga Dekker, a para-professional in the program. She takes shipments from vendors while the students are in their traditional classes. We’re constantly getting candy and Frito-Lay deliveries and can get 20 cases of Pepsi or Coca-Cola in every other week.
DECA and NYC
Melissa – Our school is involved in a DECA Marketing Club and Paige and Gianna hold officer roles. They’re CTE – Career and Technical Education – ambassadors and leaders for our section of marketing. They visit local elementary schools and share what’s happening at the Campus Closest, they lead tours for visiting schools and share their experiences. The Campus Closet has grown exponentially because of our work in the Club.
Paige – In our other advanced marketing class – Virtual Enterprise (VE) – students create an online virtual business and build a business plan for the company. Earlier in the year, we presented our business plan at the District Level and made it to the State Level and competed at Northwood University. We placed second in the state of Michigan, so that moved us onto the National Business Planning competition in New York City. We took the trip after Spring Break.
Melissa – We took eight students. Ninety different schools attended and we earned a Gold Booth Award for the tradeshow. It was a great experience for the students, many of which had never even flown before.
It was special to be a part of it. We flew into New Jersey, took a shuttle, and used the subway system the entire time. Students had the opportunity to see a Broadway play, visit the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, and Central Park. Most of those experiences are something they would never be able to do, and now they’ll remember it for the rest of their lives.
Does your business have a unique story? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Story by RACHEL SCHRAUBEN
Photos by JOSH DELANY