The Student Store Returns In-Person


The Student Store, run by CHS’s DECA chapter, has products such as Cinnaminson joggers, Pirate drawstring bags, and Cinnaminson scarves. (photo courtesy of Cate Harding)

The student store is making a comeback after its temporary closure last year due to Covid-19. It is officially open for business again and students are excited about it. The store sells school merchandise like clothes and hats, as well as food, drinks, and much more.

This year the student store has changed its hours from the morning to the afternoon. In the past, the student store was open in the morning, from homeroom until fourth period. Some students saw this as convenient because those who didn’t have breakfast could stop by the student store to get food. However, this year the student store switched to later hours because of changes with school policies, specifically those related to Covid-19.

Mr. Roger Roslowski is a CHS business teacher who also runs the CHS DECA chapter. Roslowski is in his second year at CHS and is enthusiastic about the student store.

“So you know I’ve been a business teacher all my life, teaching marketing is my passion, and doing school stores and DECA were one of the things I had been trying to get into for years,” Roslowski said.“I was a DECA member in high school.”

Last year the Student Store dealt with the challenges of Covid-19; they transitioned to an entirely online model, in hopes of still providing Cinnaminson Pirate merchandise. With Covid delaying the opening of the store this year, club members expressed that it was hard to get fully on track.

“One of the issues was just getting started up with Covid at the end of last school year,” Roslowski said. “We were a virtual store last year selling the merchandise because no food could be sold last year because of Covid.”

The lack of people in school last year also resulted in an absence of new items and options. The Student Store is currently working to compensate this year, now that school is fully back in person. The officers further reflected how the effects of COVID altered what they saw as the traditional DECA experience. From in-person product coordination to shipping delays, it was difficult last year to transform product ideas into physical products.

“Well, last year there was only the virtual store, so nobody actually got to work in the store, and [we] didn’t really get to help come up with designs or anything,” Kaylee Solomon, a sophomore DECA officer, said.

The Student Store’s holiday display decorates the store window. (photo courtesy of Cate Harding)

This year, DECA members are now able to pool their ideas and come up with new products and merchandise to sell. Products such as lady’s joggers, flannel PJ pants, blankets, flags, and headbands can now be purchased. More is soon to come from the student store.

Another significant impact the global COVID pandemic had on the student store was the worldwide shipping delays. With the loss of workers in many businesses, and companies not having any stock to ship out due to low employment, it has been difficult for small places like the Student Store to get their hands on their new products.

“We had a little bit of a delayed opening and you know trying to get the merchandise, it took a while because of that global shipping crisis issue,” Roslowski said. “So if I try to order clothing I may not be able to get the quantities I need or styles may not be available.”

Hoping the global shipping delay will be solved in the near future, the DECA members, along with Roslowski, plan to introduce the new items to the Student Store soon.

“So, I told [Kaylee Solomon] …when we start ordering stuff for the spring, we’ll start using more of her designs and any of the other members that have designed,” Roslowski said.

Despite the ongoing challenges and changes presented by COVID, DECA is looking to participate in the annual student store competition, which Cinnaminson has won several times in the past.

“I hope that we can obtain the gold status again,” Solomon said. “It’s one of the highest levels the school store can win as an award.”

Senior officer Whitney Nguyen, one of the presidents of DECA, explained she hopes the student store will eventually be able to regain the popularity it had pre-pandemic.

“A lot of people don’t really know about the Student Store being open,” Nguyen said. “So we definitely want new things in and life back in here again.”

In order to live up to their gold status, DECA members want to reach as many people as possible with their products. Roslowski said he wants the store to sell to not only the student body but the members of the Cinnaminson community as well. By selling to members of the community, the student store helps spread Pirate Pride, as well as support the students in DECA.

“Residents of the community that just want Cinnaminson clothing, not just pirate clothing, have an option to come to the school and support a program that has the students working in it,” Roslowski said.

DECA teacher, Mr. Roslowski stands by the cash register at the student store. (photo courtesy of Cate Harding)

When it comes to being a part of the Cinnaminson community, Nguyen explained being a DECA officer changed her high school experience.

“DECA really helps out with the Student Store so I got to help out, and I really like being a part of the school community so that was one major factor that I liked,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen, Anthony Vallone, and Sean Kennedy are all senior DECA presidents.

“I really got involved with the student store through DECA, and just, I like how I get to really know behind the scenes of what’s going on in the student store and how you purchase everything,” Vallone said of his involvement.

DECA relies on its senior officers to help guide the underclassmen. With all of the struggles and halts in the past couple of years, veteran DECA members are using their experience to mentor its newer members.

“I like being an officer just because it gives me a chance to really show others what DECA is,” Vallone said. “There’s not a lot of experience with other members because we haven’t had competitions really in the last couple of years.”

Kennedy runs the social media accounts of the student store in hopes to promote the store and help push the store’s influence. He said DECA is trying a variety of promotional methods to increase the popularity of the student store.

“Just putting posts out on Twitter, and Instagram, hopefully getting more students to see our products and the store times,” Kennedy said.

Students can stop by the store after school starting at 2:11 p.m. Monday through Friday.