Over the summer and into the school year, the cafeteria has hosted multiple construction projects.
Aside from the main cafeteria improvements, an idea to create a new place for East’s student store was proposed by Assistant Principal Jeremy Higgins and Principal John McKinney. According Marketing teacher and student store advisor Mercedes Rasmussen, she and her students were ecstatic at the news.
Last year’s student store was located across from the auxiliary gym, and was “an old shack,” according to senior store staffer Lola Hitchcock. The ability to design and get more stock into the store was a big issue for last year’s store because of the size of its doorframe and interior. But over the course of a summer, the new store was built with a large “garage” door and inside space.
“We have new students, a new location and new health standards if we want to sell any products that are edible,” Mercedes Rasmussen said. “We are working on designing the inside of the store in hopes that we’re going to have additional products that we don’t normally have. We’re actually going to have a little home store area and hope to expand it a little bit.”
The store itself even changed its name to “The Student Section,” and a picture of the student section from last year’s state football game will cover the back wall. The student store students believe that the student section at East’s sporting events are huge supporters of Lancers, and the student store works to be the same. The store is also going to be taking credit cards and is adding a cash register to the front desk.
Senior store staffer Liam Griffin explains his own positive takeaways from the changes.
“I think [the changes] are good, they will streamline transactions and make it easier for people to get in the store and see the products. Business is strictly financial.”
There are 12 people on staff
and several different departments including sales, design, web design and finance. Each member is in a certain department, but can to sell in the store or translate to other positions, according to Hitchcock.
Due to these changes, the amount and variety of products will both increase, Hitchcock says. They received new shipments last Tuesday, filled with new sweatpants and shirts. They are in the process of ordering sweatshirts and bucket hats.
With the new location and staff increase, the store has expanded to online, with hopes to sell merchandise to a wider market, like parents and alumni. The website is connected to the Shawnee Mission East website and is called “Student Store”. They will also be able to take orders and ship them out in bulk.
The entire aim of the Student Section is to resemble an actual store. Rasmussen feels this is a more attainable goal because of the updated store. She only does the final “say-so” of the big decisions, so the fate of the stores profit and overall well-being is up to the students.