Newton South’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) has started South’s first school store in order to promote business opportunities as well as contributing donations to school clubs and charities.
The store, located next to the faculty dining room, sells items ranging from gum to composition notebooks and remains the culmination of plans created by juniors Hannah Phan and Benjamin Anderson-Krin.
Phan, also the Treasurer for FBLA, says that the duo began planning the school store over the summer, carefully constructing the procedure on how they would sell the desired products.
Phan says that she wanted to implement this store because it not only directly correlates to FBLA, but also has presented her with an opportunity of managing a real business.
“I really wanted to get more business skills and actually do something concrete and I think that [the store] was really helpful in getting a lot of business skills and understanding how to manage things,” Phan said.
Before the store opened its doors, Phan and Anderson-Krim conducted students surveys to engage interest from students in the store itself as well as market research to finalize their decisions to the administration that upcoming fall.
Currently, the store sells required readings like Romeo and Juliet, but Anderson-Krim, who is the Vice President of FBLA, mentions that the club is looking to expand the collection to more required books and a possible collaboration with the Booster club.
“We are definitely looking at Macbeth and other books beyond just Romeo and Juliet as well as feasibility of making sure that students have access to greater school apparel overall,” Anderson-Krim said.
Adding on, Phan says that students should utilize the school store because products are often cheaper than regular retail price because the items are ordered in bulk amounts.
“We do get a lot of traffic, it’s mostly in between lunches and a lot of people like buying gum, but we also sell a lot of notebooks and pencils and Romeo and Juliet books for freshmen,” Phan said.
In addition, the store offers an unique convenience because now supplies are easily accessible to forgetful students.
Phan reflects on the support the administration showed including Vice Principal Candice Beerman who attributed her approval to Phan’s organization and detailed proposal.
Beerman reflects that she remains enthusiastic with FBLA’s store since she says that school stores are necessities in many high schools.
“Every school I’ve ever worked at had a school store except South. In fact, when I was in school, I worked at the school store at my particular middle school and high school,” Beerman said.
Beerman continues by stating that she remains proud of Phan due to her achievements in the creation of the store and its contributions to FBLA.
“I think Hannah is wonderful. It started off as a group effort from FBLA, but then Hannah has been really leading the whole thing and she’s the one that I see here every day getting the cash bag and bringing it back and forth as her responsibility. So, I think FBLA owes her a big thank you for really getting it up and running,” Beerman said.
An effective measure taken by both Phan and Anderson-Krim has been to collaborate with different department heads to ensure the store is supplying students the products they need.
Beerman supports this measure and says that she hopes FBLA expands their efforts to generate more publicity for the store.
“I think the club is just increasing little by little and that’s a great way to do it. The store just sort of opened and traveled word of mouth. However, I don’t think a lot of people yet know about the club,” Beerman said.
FBLA hopes that the store will succeed due to the heavy foot traffic and sufficient storage space its location, next to the faculty dining room, provides.
In addition, Beerman hopes that the store will not live as a one-year short term project, but rather a permanent aspect of South that can continue to grow.
Beerman’s goals coincide with Phan’s aspirations that the store will not only raise funds to assist FBLA members but will strive to donate money to other charities.
Phan currently remains the only member of FBLA to manage the store, and thus the store’s success and longevity depend on if FBLA receives applicants to be in charge of the store as Anderson-Krim explains.
“The position would also have a financial aspect to it as well since profits from the school store go to help funding students from Newton South High School going to business competitions that FBLA goes to,” Anderson-Krim said.
As for FBLA, Anderson-Krim hopes to expand the club’s influence and have an increasingly larger membership that shows interest in business, not only through the South store, but also FBLA’s general activities.
“ We’ve had a couple of years of really great growth as more and more people have showing interest at business at the height of high school level advertising. In connection with the school store, I think that continuing to expand the school store making sure that it gains more publicity and offering more products, we can help not only the students of Newton South, but also the more FBLA students attend national competitions at a much lower cost,” said Anderson-Krim.