It’s approaching the time of year when schools bring in gift shops for their students. The holiday shop provides a way for students to shop for loved ones right in the confines of their school. Gift shops, also known as Santa shops, are normally provided on a consignment basis. This means that schools only pay for what they sell and return the rest. And fundraising companies normally don't charge to ship the merchandise to or from the school either.
Some schools use holiday shops as a fundraiser; however most provide them as a fun activity to their students. While many schools have already booked their dates at this point, it’s still not too late to sign up as stores are typically run either the first or second week of December.
Here are some ways that you can make your school holiday shop experience a successful one.
Make Your Store Appealing to Your Students
The first rule of thumb is to keep it simple. When students walk into your gift shop your items should be clearly marked and categorized. Consider sorting gifts by recipient. For example, “I love Mom” or “I love grandpa” are good examples of categories that students will be able to easily identify.
If you’re using your holiday shop as a fundraiser, this is a little more difficult to do but try to set price points as low as possible to give students the opportunity to buy multiple gifts. Many students have a limited budget but several people that they want to shop for.
Be sure you have a limited number of students going through your store at any one time. This makes it easier for you to monitor your students as well as make their experience more pleasant. You should also recruit enough people so that each table has at least one volunteer. This will move the process of selecting and purchasing along more efficiently while providing a more personalized experience for your students.
Make Purchasing Gifts a Reality for All
By keeping your gifts at a reasonable price point, more students will be able to afford them. However, a few may not be able to make a purchase without some help. Consider setting aside a few dollars from your parent group’s ‘rainy day’ fund to help them out. Schools that use our gift shop are offered an early signup bonus that involves offering ginger bucks to students in need or who might be a dollar or two short.
It’s the Extra Touch that Counts
One additional idea is to incorporate a gift wrapping station. You can either assign a couple of your volunteers, or even let the students wrap their own gifts. Gift bags are usually provided by the company along with other school holiday shop tools.