Turning Point School Store Struggles to Turn Profit


Takiyah Wahhab

Window Shopping: The Turning Point school store is steps away from the school cafeteria, which is handy for students who want to shop during lunch.

Business is slow these days at the Turning Point school store.
In past years, students formed lines out the door at lunch time to buy Fritos, Arizona Ice Tea and candy.
But this year, under new federal guidelines promoted by First Lady Michelle Obama, the store cannot sell junk food, and the customer lines are shorter, said marketing teacher Jacqueline Dunlap, who runs the school store, with 13 students.
The store no longer sells food items and only carries two types of beverages these days: water and diet drinks, said Dunlap.
“Business is horrible because we are unable to get food and drinks that students prefer to have,” said Dunlap.
The store still sells spirit wear, such as Southfield High hoodies , T-shirts, and hats. And they still offer an online business that allows students to customize their spirit wear at Mylocker.net.
But the candy and chips were their biggest sellers and were the products that drew students into the store the most, Dunlap said.
Senior Justice Lyons, who is enrolled in the Store Operations class and helps run the school store, said he and his fellow school store employees have surveyed students about their healthy snack preferences. They found students would be interested in granola bars and yogurt.
Lyons said the store plans to add healthy snacks later in the school year, perhaps after Spring Break, in hopes that the new items will lead to more traffic in the store.
Dunlap said adding new products will require building relationships with new vendors.
Their second strategy to rebuild business is to sell more spirit wear. “We want to promote school apparel,” Dunlap said.
The store is across from the radio station and is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during first lunch, which is 11:01 a.m. to 11:41 a.m.
The store is closed during second lunch because that is Dunlap’s lunch hour.