Shopping for College
Posted: August 24, 2012
College campuses are big business. Not only do students have an incredible impact on the local economy, but the far-reaching effects of having two public universities in the Chippewa Valley were evident as I helped shop for necessities last week for the incoming UW-Eau Claire freshman who I have helped raise the past three years. By necessities, I mean dormitory items such as a microwave oven, a small refrigerator, bedding linens and incidentals.
It became apparent to me while shopping for the recent high school graduate that some stores do a better job than others anticipating the needs of college students. For example, most major department retailers have sales that are attractive to college students. But only one store actually provided a list of things that all college students should consider purchasing before moving into their dorm room. That same store was also the only retailer that provided the proper types of bed linens for the dorm-style bunk beds.
Never have I been more proud to be a shareholder of Target Corporation than I was last week as we comparison-shopped for the aforementioned appliances and basic needs for living in a dormitory. The Minneapolis-based retailer posted a proposed list of items that new students will want to make sure they have before moving into a dorm or off campus into an apartment. Not only that, but Target was the only store in town that sold the Twin XL sheets and pillow cases which are mandatory if moving into the dorms at UW-Eau Claire. (That could be why most linen patterns were out of stock by the time we shopped for bedding items).
Students and faculty at UW-Eau Claire and UW-Stout spend a total of more than $315 million annually in and around the Chippewa Valley. It's no wonder then that stores like Target cater to the college market this time of year. With that buying power, most any retailer would welcome the influx of consistent revenue every fall.
Even though we purchased the small appliances at another national retail store, I was impressed with Target's wide selection of back-to-school products for the college crowd. It seems like Target really understands how valuable the local university market can be to their bottom line.I used to publish an issue of The Bottom Line the week after Festival in the Pines, which takes place this weekend (August 25-26). Then, as I became older, I realized that it was probably best for me to take the week off before Labor Day weekend to recharge the batteries. As a result, there will be no issue of The Bottom Line next week - August 31, 2012, due to the Labor Day holiday...and since it's the week after Festival in the Pines. Have a great holiday weekend!
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