The Meredith College Campus Store has seen success in sales, even while facing challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. For the 2020-21 fiscal year, the store exceeded sales projections by more than $55,000.
Management of the store was brought in house in 2020. Since then, Emily Kelleher, ’17, has served as campus store manager. She said the pandemic has had an impact on the store.
“The main way that COVID has affected store operations is the lack of in person events that have happened on campus over the last year. In a normal year we would have six or seven admissions open house dates, homecoming, reunion, and other events which would increase our sales,” Kelleher said. “COVID has also had an industry wide effect on the availability of products, meaning most of our vendors have had low stock on many items and slow production times as things pick back up. Most of our products are taking much longer than normal to come in.”
Despite these challenges, sales have been better than expected and continue to rise.
One change that has helped since the store came in house was transitioning to using Square as the store’s point of sale system and online store provider.
“This has provided so much more flexibility and ease of use than our previous system, and has streamlined store operations,” said Kelleher.
Kelleher reports to Vice President for Marketing and Communication Kristi Eaves-McLennan. This reporting structure has helped the store coordinate more closely with the College’s Marketing Department for products and promotions that are within the Meredith College | Going Strong brand.
“Working with the Marketing Department has been a great resource for many reasons,” said Kelleher. A recent example of this collaboration was the creation of graphics for use on the store’s social media pages. “Having these graphics created for the store has been a huge time saver, and may not have happened otherwise,” said Kelleher.
Kelleher reminds faculty and staff that the store can assist with their purchasing needs.
“We are more than happy to work with departments on special orders for apparel, gifts, etc.; and we also provide bulk discounts for larger purchases,” Kelleher said.
Employees may want to browse for new Meredith apparel, including some items that are already proving popular.
“I think the biggest hit with faculty and staff so far this semester has been our new embroidered cardigans. They just came in last month, and they look great,” said Kelleher. “They come in two colors, with an embroidered seal on the left chest. We also have new polos, sweatshirts, t-shirts, and gift items that we’ve received over the summer. Now is a great time to come take a look at all the new items.”
The Campus Store also includes essentials that faculty, staff, and students may need. A recent addition is offering KN95 masks, which are being sold at cost plus tax. These face coverings are $2.79 each before tax.
In addition to the store in Cate Center, shoppers can also buy Meredith products online at shop-meredith.com. Faculty and staff can receive their 10% discount online as well by using the discount code FACULTYSTAFF at checkout.