The newest member of the ICBA staff, our Marketing and Communications Director Marcy Farrey, recently visited a couple of our Members in Minnesota. She shares her observations from her visit to Normandale Community College below. Be sure to check out the video from her visit on our Facebook page!
Who says large stores have more fun? At Normandale Community College, the college store team is maximizing their space for greater impact. Here are four features and strategies that stood out to me from my tour and chat with Store Director Chris Peterson:
1. Cosmetics Section
The Normandale team placed a small cosmetics section in the store to see how it would do, and they’re pleased with it. Students were recently prepping for mock interviews, so they stopped in to grab some makeup to prepare. Store Director Chris Peterson says he’s now considering bringing in a makeup artist to help students out during mock interviews—what a great opportunity to help students do and feel their best!
2. Efficient Use of a Small Space
The Normandale team has worked to make the most of the space. They put up a new wall in the store to create a special designated area for Tech Products, and will be doing some more rearranging soon. When it comes time for students to pick up textbooks, the team repurposes empty classrooms to create an efficient system for pickup. Chris says he ordered special origami shelves, so it would be quick and easy to pop them up and fill with books. The shelves then fold down and store easily once the rush is over.
3. Student Workers
The number of student workers at Normandale’s store is climbing. Chris says he works with the marketing staff to promote job openings and he created a special orientation program for his student new hires. He works with Student Services to create opportunities for mock interviews and other career development programs.
4. Large Convenience/ Grab & Go Section
The Normandale store knows what students need, and that’s very often a quick snack or drink between classes! Normandale’s grab-and-go occupies the front corner of the store, making it easy for students to pop in before their next class. Chris says the section has been popular and continues to go strong.
My time at Normandale showed me the role a college store can play for students in their lifetime, from their first day at school to their first interview to their first visit as an alum. The store is not just a place to stop and shop—it is a part of the full college experience.
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