Lakeland’s bookstore operations are equipped with fresh ideas thanks to Lakeland’s business students.
They presented long-term strategies for improving the operation of the college’s campus bookstores in front of faculty and staff, including the dean of the School of Business
“The project gave me valuable business skills I will use in my career. It was extremely beneficial to be able to analyze a real business, recommend changes and have the opportunity to share your vision with the people who can implement those changes,” says Kelsey Appleton, a third-year bachelor of commerce degree
student. Appleton took the course as an elective in her degree program.
Appleton and her classmates participated in the project through the small business and entrepreneurship major’s
second-year small business management course. This is the first time the course enabled students to apply their knowledge to investigate a real business outside the classroom.
The students were divided into two groups to complete an analysis of the Vermilion or Lloydminster campus bookstores
. They each received a bookstore overview that included true data except for the financial statements. Over nine weeks, the groups researched the bookstores' business overviews, operations, financial information, marketing and public relations, organizational strategy, and values, vision and culture to find recommendations. They also met with the bookstores’ representatives on more than one occasion to get more information.
“I focused on marketing and public relations and presented a recommendation to increase that footprint. For me, it was beneficial to look at a business and try to make recommendations to change something because businesses need recommendations to create a higher profitability and that’s something I can use in the future,” says Dana Bernard, a second-year student in SBE.
Some of the recommendations include updating signage and marketing visuals, introducing incentives such as sales and coupons, and increasing foot traffic by creating an alumni clothing line and selling merchandise at Rustlers Athletics games.
“Overall, the students came up with recommendations that we can apply and help the bookstores. One group provided some good recommendations but I think they needed to step away from a consumer point of view and look at the bookstore from a business perspective. The other group presented our findings with a business perspective that we think will help boost our profile,” says Melody Moore, Vermilion Bookstore supervisor.
Photos: (Top-Bottom) Lakeland's business students visited the Vermilion campus bookstore to investigate its operations in order to come up with recommendations.