As the rays from the bright burning sun transition into steady cool winds, students’ summer vacation pass is no longer valid. School is starting, which means that the rush has begun at office supply stores.
When students attend their new classes, teachers assign a list of supplies that students will need for each class. When all of the lists from every class are put together, shopping becomes almost inevitable; this happens to a majority of students simultaneously.
Students and parents are not the only ones entangled in this shopping overload with carts filled with notebooks, binders, and pens and long curved waiting lines in front of the registers. Employees and managers are just as busy tending to customer needs and restocking supplies.
In an interview with JSR at the Office Depot branch in Sunnyvale, CA, Operations Manager Ryan Winfield gave insight into what happens behind the cashier registers and closed office doors during the “back-to-school” rush. Winfield told JSR that staff members are trained in order to maintain the stream of customers who come to purchase school supplies.
“[The biggest thing to be mindful about is that] customers are getting what they actually need. [We do that by] asking appropriate questions and walking customers to right aisle” said Winfield.
During the rush, office supply stores achieve an increase of sales. To take advantage of this time period and boost sales, Winfield says a tactic is adding on complementary products to regular goods that are on for sale.
“[If we’re selling] a dry erase board, than we would add dry erase pens, erasers, and the liquid spray to clean the board,” Winfield told JSR.
According to Winfield, back-to-school season has been generally successful over the years.
“[The shopping season] gets busier every year and usually lasts from two weeks to a month. Usually the first week of school [is the busiest period] because many schools start at the same time” Winfield said.