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An Overview of School Store Operations

Daily Procedures

At the beginning of each day/shift, the student(s) working need to count the starting money. Throughout the shift they perform their necessary duties, depending upon their job title. When the store closes for the day, the students once again count the money and compile information of all their transactions from that day. This helps teach about money handling, time management and customer service.

Ordering and Receiving

The appropriate clerks would be responsible for placing orders and verifying their correctness upon receipt. In placing orders, the student might keep a "want book" and talk to other workers or students to identify which items the store may need. He or she also watches regularly stocked items to determine if or when they need to be re-ordered.

To reorder, the Ordering Clerk creates a purchase order, which will then be checked against the invoice. Orders are then to be phoned, faxed, ordered online, or emailed to the vendor. A photocopy should be made of every order sent, and it might be a good idea to have the order reviewed by another employee.

Upon receipt of orders, the Receiving Clerk verifies that the correct items are included in the shipment by comparing the items against the packing slip or invoice. Once the correctness is verified, these clerks put the items away. Ordering and Receiving Clerks may also be in charge of coordinating the other employees during inventory time.

Inventory

During inventory all of the employees in the store work together to count the items in the store and determine how much merchandise is on-hand; also, this will help in determining what items need to be ordered. A student employee or teacher should stress the importance of accuracy as the employees work together to get things counted.

After the count is complete, inventory should be priced at cost using a vendors invoice (which depicts the wholesale cost of each item). Multiply the quantities by the unit cost of each item; add the total of all of the items for the grand total.

In addition to counting the stock on hand, student employees conducting an inventory should create a Profit and Loss Statement.

Product and Market Analysis

From start-up on, selecting appropriate products for the store is essential. Students doing this job need to consider:

  • Who is my audience?
  • What types of products do they like?
  • What supplies do students run out of most office?
  • Does the school restrict any particular types of items?
  • What fun items can the store carry to enhance the learning experience of the students?

After gathering this information, students can then most accurately write orders for new merchandise. Many stores sell basic items, such as pencils, pens and notebooks, but also offer a selection of fun, novelty items chosen by school store workers.

Accounting

Accounting for a school store involves tracking income and expense. Income in the store can be handled in one of four-ways:

  1. Cash box—a popular method for handling money; however, using this method leaves little control
  2. Cash box and stock list—A clerk marks items sold on a list, and then reconciles the items sold with cash received at the end of the day.
  3. Cash register—the register tape records cash received
  4. Cash box and calculator—The calculator tape is used to track cash received.

Student employees use the information collected regarding cash received to fill out simple forms that give information about the store's finances. For example, the "books" can merely be a loose-leaf binder divided into two sections, one identifying receipts and expense and the other tracking purchases and for recording deposits. Visit our School Store Downloads page for all of the forms you will need.

Marketing

Students responsible for marketing develop campaigns to raise the student bodies awareness of the store and products it sells. Traditional methods include announcements, posters or displays, but this project would give students the chance to be creative and think of new ways to promote their store.

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