school store products

8 Tips for Managing A Successful School Store

Are you ready to open a school store in your elementary school? Are you revamping the school store you already have? Use these eight tips to help create, open, and run an elementary school store that is both profitable and rewarding.


The Plan

Start by creating a business plan. If you don’t already have one, choose a store manager, and have that person come up with a business plan. The plan can be simple or extravagant. You will want to calculate costs, potential profits, and outline a general plan of action.

Location, Location, Location

Location is important for a school store as it is for real estate. If you don’t have a designated spot in your elementary school for the school store, it can be as easy as setting up a table in a hot location. Think about high traffic areas, like busy hallways, lunchrooms, or activity areas.

Hours of Operation

Another key factor in determining the success of a school store is making sure it is accessible to students. Choose one or two key days per week or a couple of optimal hours each day. Consider before and after school hours and lunch times. Be sure to schedule hours during activities outside the school day, too, such as open houses, athletic events, or concerts–this will not only make it accessible to students, but their parents, too! And don’t forget to have extended hours during your local high school’s Homecoming and Spirit Week.

Choose Merchandise

As you begin to see profits from your elementary’s school store, you can reinvest in new and exciting stock. Bringing in new school spirit items helps keep interest and excitement high. If you’re on a tight budget, start with items in your school colors and/or paw mascot to save money on the imprinting. Later, you can add custom items with your school name, logo, or mascot as your profits increase.

Best-selling school store items include:

Knitwear_school store

Staffing Your Store

Older kids in your elementary school (fifth or sixth graders) will love working in your school store! Students are critical in staffing your store. They will learn valuable lessons and help promote interest and excitement. Come up with different job assignments that are age-appropriate such as, cashier, stock, inventory, advertising, sales, etc. Create job descriptions and help students gain experience in all areas.

Social Media

Find a way to give parents and community members online access to your store. Some options include a weekly email with current “specials,” an actual website store for your store or a page on your school’s website and/or social media pages, like Facebook and Twitter. The more ways you reach parents, the more excitement you will see and the more profits you will generate.

school banner

Advertising and Promotions

Have students create posters and banners to hang throughout your elementary school. Run ads in your school newsletter. Offer specials and promotions each week or month. Sell gift certificates that can be purchased. Ask the students for ways to promote your school store–they will love being involved and come up with fresh ideas!

Have Fun!

Enjoy the spirit of the project. Don’t get stressed out or bogged down with the details. Get students of all ages involved. In the end, you will have a successful school store, gain immeasurable experience for the kids, and help promote school spirit and morale among the entire student body and staff.