The San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) held its 2nd Annual Student Store Competition on January 16th, 2014 at Madison High School. The competition, developed and organized by SDUSD’s College, Career & Technical Education department, provides a way for students involved in their high school’s student store to learn key business concepts and develop critical thinking skills. The schools that participated in the competition were Serra High, Clairemont High, Kearny High, Mission Bay High, and San Diego High School. This year’s competition focused on having students come up with a merchandising strategy and proposal to help boost sales at their stores.
Preparation for the competition started with a tour of SDSU and USD’s student stores where students learned about the merchandising strategies those stores use. The students were then paired with a mentor from the business community to help them develop a SWOT analysis and come up with a merchandising strategy that they could implement and test. The students implemented their strategy for a week, collected data, and analyzed the results, which they turned into a written proposal and presentation for the competition.
Written proposals for the competition were scored in advance of an event where all five teams were given a chance to present their proposal and results of their merchandising strategy to a panel of three judges, which included Sarah Castro, SDSU Aztec Shop Manager, Kim Missel, USD Torero Store Manager, and Gabriel Reyes, San Diego CITD Youth Entrepreneurship Program Coordinator. Prior to the announcement of the winning teams, guest speaker Ruben Garcia, Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s San Diego District Office, encouraged the students to explore business ownership as a career path and provided an overview of the no-cost services and programs available through the SBA to help support small businesses. The team from Serra High School’s Super-Q Store won first place in the competition with their strategy of using mobile racks to reach more students on their campus and bringing in vendors to do product sampling promotions. Second place went to the team from Clairemont High’s Chief Hut, who implemented an express line for a top selling product, and third place went to the team from Kearny High’s Komet Corner, who tested a combo meal strategy, pairing top selling items with less popular items.