School store travels to cyberspace

School store travels to cyberspace

The school store landed in cyberspace with its online launch on Aug. 29 by teaming up with the apparel company SwagDog.

According to Director of Enrollment and Marketing Jesse Roberts, one of the people who contacted SwagDog, the conversations regarding the
online store have been in the works for the past 18 months leading up to thelaunch. The idea first came about after students filled out a survey based ontheir satisfaction with JC apparel. “In general, the results said that students wanted a better variety and quality of merchandise,” Roberts said.

The planning and evaluation process involved faculty, staff, administration, alumni, and current, as well as past, parents. Two fathers of students played a key role. “Chuck Slusher and Mike Shock were instrumental in getting the idea from the drawing board to the working model,” Roberts said.

Chuck Slusher, father of senior Ethan Slusher and junior Amy Slusher, and Mike Shock, father of Chelsea Shock, class of ’11, introduced SwagDog as an option for an online store and started conversations with theadministration.

“We are very excited about this and happy to be in partnership with our SwagDog friends,” School Store Manager Jane Fogarty said.

After reviewing their options, the committee decided that an online store would be in the school’s best interest. “At the end of the day, having a store that is available 24 hours a day made sense . . . not just for our students, but for our alumni, friends, and families who might not have
access to the physical store in the school building,” Roberts said.

According to Roberts, providing the most up-to-date service was vital in the decision as well.  “More and more commerce in our country is occurring online, and as a school that has technology as one of its ‘languages,’ we need to be cutting edge in providing service,” Roberts said.

Fogarty believes that the online move is a good decision. “It is more convenient for everyone, and with people being so busy, going online is the way to go. It will generate additional revenue to JC,” Fogarty said.

Athletic Office Assistant and former School Store Manager Donna Hetzel believes that the online school store is a move in the right direction for JC. “I think it is a great idea. It will allow alumni, grandparents, and those who are far away to make purchases,” Hetzel said.

According to Hetzel, the school store previously had a connection to online orders. “We have had an online order form before. However, people had to print out the form and either fax or mail it to the school.  We wanted consumers to have the option to pay online and we were not able to offer that,” Hetzel said.

According to Fogarty, the benefits are already visible. “Many [parents] were very excited when it was introduced at Mini-Mod Night,”
she said.

Roberts is confident that the online venture will bring benefits, but is unsure how students will respond.

Freshman Madisyn Eisenhuth and junior Carrie Dukes don’t currently buy much in the school store, but find the online idea appealing. “I don’t really spend much time in the school store, but I think it’s pretty cool how it’s going to be online. It gives you more of a chance to get things in your size and I’ll buy things online,” Eisenhuth said.

Dukes had a similar response. “I don’t really buy anything in the school store. I think it’s a good idea that it’s going online and I might buy some things online,” Dukes said.

Other students say that they will not purchase merchandise online, or that they were not aware that the school was making this change. “I
didn’t even know the school store was going online,” senior Caroline Catterton said.

“I will probably not buy things online because all that I get [at the school store] is food,” sophomore Brian Matejevich said.

Competing in a virtual market, JC joins the likes of other Maryland Catholic high schools such as Calvert Hall College, Loyola Blakefield
High School, and Notre Dame Preparatory School.

Kailey Tracy is a Copy Editor for The Patriot and