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September 3, 2019

4 Must-Have Features of A School Store

Whether you’re opening up shop for the first time or improving existing operations, here are 4 must-have features of any school store!
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A good school store is much more than just a collection of snacks and swag. If it’s done right, your store will become an essential part of your PBIS program, and even teach kids to plan ahead and save up.

Whether you’re opening up shop for the first time or improving your existing operations, we’ve collected 4 must-have features of any school store - complete with a free guide on how to set up a school store your students will love. Let the shopping sprees begin!

1. Make the store easy to manage. 

As with any new initiative involving hundreds of kids, organization is key. Put some basic measures in place to ensure the store is convenient for everyone, and doesn’t turn into an added burden for teachers.

  • Limit the hours of operation. This is not a Walmart: you can afford to close your store for a few days! Many schools find that the store only needs to be open for one day a week. Limit the open hours so you can focus time and resources only when they’re needed. 
  • Clarify the terms of “payment.” Most schools rely on a token or point system based on behavior rewards to supplement actual cash. If you don’t have a digital points system in place, now would be a good time to start  one. Just make sure your target behaviors are clear, and points are tracked electronically to avoid headaches for your teachers. 
  • Stick to standard procedures. Make sure students and teachers understand how to earn and redeem their points. Publicize the details (such as which actions earn points, and how to redeem those points). And try to employ the same processes across all grade levels to keep it simple for your store staff. 

A school-wide behavior rubric will help you keep things consistent across grade levels. Here are our tips to help you organize your behavior rubric!

2. Include intangible options. 

Any prize that builds relationships between grades, or between students and teachers, is more valuable than a school hoodie. Add a few creative rewards like helping the teacher or reading to a younger class to keep your store inventory fresh.

Small privileges, like letting them sit in a different chair or kick off their shoes for a class, are also ever-popular (and free). 

For more inspiration, download our complete list of reward ideas here!

3. Give them a reason to save. 

A school store can help students learn to budget. But when you’re dealing with 8 year olds, you need to give them some pretty enticing prizes worthy of storing up their hard-earned points.

Events for the whole class will keep their interest, and bring an extra sense of teamwork since they have to work together to reach their goal. So stock your shelves with a few high-dollar items like field trips or class movie nights.

Make sure teachers are aware of the bigger event incentives so they can get their class interested. Behavior rewards shouldn't be used as outright bribes, but there's nothing wrong with getting kids excited about the prizes they could earn if they all work together!

4. Run some “marketing campaigns” to get students excited.  

The goal of a PBIS school store is to motivate the kids, and that will require just a touch of marketing. 

Feature new items and top sellers in morning announcements and bulletin boards. Get feedback from teachers to find out what’s “hot,” and get inspired for new product offerings.

In order for the store to work as a motivator, your students (and teachers) need to know about all the cool stuff that’s at stake! So whichever marketing methods you choose, be sure to be consistent. Advertise new products directly to students, and also to teachers so they can help build up some hype!


Keep these general tips in mind to maximize the benefits of your school store. Once you’re ready for the grand opening, download our School Store Guide for specific product ideas and teacher tips!

Already have your shop up and running? Share photos of your school store on Facebook or Instagram, and tag @whyliveschool! 

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