Students Design a New Campus Store for Menlo College

Students Design a New Campus Store for Menlo College

“The renovation for the Menlo College Campus Store started when Professor Deborah McCabe asked if she could use the store as a subject for a marketing class project during the summer of 2014,” recalled Campus Store manager Charlene Krakowsky.

McCabe assigned projects to two marketing classes to improve and advertise the store. The students ran extensive surveys and led several focus groups using faculty, staff, and students from Menlo College as well as Menlo School to make their assessments. First on their bullet list of recommendations was to remodel the store!

“The marketing research projects completed in fall 2014, and the campus store remodeling project developed the following spring. By summer we were under construction. The entire experience provided valuable benefits to the College,” said Professor McCabe.

Menlo College students Alexa Ledesma and Max Wyzard designed the store from the inside out. The two students worked with Menlo College Director of Facilities and Operations Bob Talbott to create an inviting shopping experience.

Talbott provided CAD drawings based on the student designs, and the students made revisions that included opening up the space and adding new front windows. After plans were complete, Talbott and his crew turned the blueprint into a whole new shopping experience.

“Alexa and I met regularly with Professor McCabe to exchange ideas about the design of the store,” said Wyzard. “We spent a lot of time comparing college stores across the country. We wanted a look that was fitting for our generation. As a fashionista, Alexa had the reigns on the interior, and I focused on the exterior. We both adhered to a ‘less is better’ philosophy, because you can’t put out everything you have on the shelves to effectively market it,” said Wyzard. “I’m proud of our smooth process. It’s a rare opportunity when you get to design a building.”

“I enjoyed working with our team,” said Ledesma. We created something special and beautiful with our collaboration.”

McCabe said, “I couldn’t be more proud of my consumer behavior and marketing research class members, especially Alexa and Max. They did a fantastic job!”

To emphasize the branding of athletics, Menlo College Athletics Director Keith Spataro assigned Director of Marketing and Promotions Katie Caliendo to help with marketing the new store.

“I am excited to be working with the Campus Store as we continue to strengthen the Menlo College brand by utilizing merchandise and apparel sold in the store and online,” said Caliendo. “Increasing the marketing efforts and continuing to obtain market research will help us fill the need for Menlo College branded items and grow the visibility of Menlo both on a local and national level.”

The ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Menlo College Campus Store was scheduled to be part of the recent OAKtoberFest activities on campus. The store is now fully operational, and Krakowsky is busy with new display options made possible by the renovation. She’s also almost ready to roll out a new coffee bar feature within the store. As she ponders these decisions a question has occurred to her, “Is there another marketing class project coming up soon?”