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The Claw Campus Store Offers Hands-On Education

 From left, Bradley Brock and Isaac Bursey go through the settings of the card and cash app reader.After being shuttered in the move to the new Sherman High School, The Claw campus store reopened this year under the management of the 2022-23 Business Management Practicum class.

“It hasn’t been open because we were trying to figure out what products to sell,” teacher Cheryl Wroe said. “My background is marketing and sales support, and that’s why Ms. Politi [the principal] asked me to take over the store.”

Inventory came in over the summer, and Wroe managed to open the store during schedule pick-up in early August, meaning parents had a chance to look at what The Claw offered.

“I sold out of everything during schedule pick-up,” Wroe said. “Which is great, but it took a little time to get some more inventory in.”

The Claw just opened with its new inventory a couple of weeks ago and offers not only a modest selection of adult-sized shirts and hoodies with the SHS design but also more generic Sherman apparel. It also offers small plastic tote bags, hats, lanyards and other accessories.

Students switch between working on small assignments in the classroom to manning the store, which is open during all SHS lunches. Two students at a time work the counter in shifts, so students can eat.

“They’re learning customer service and inventory control,” Wroe said. “At the end of each week, we’re going to count inventory and make sure it matches how much we sold. Eventually they’re going to learn the ordering process with our vendors.”

Senior Braydon Hart said the class is “hands-on” and offers opportunities to learn the basics of operating a business, like managing money or making sales. He also takes experiences from working in The Claw and applies them to his after-school job, and vice-versa.

“When you’re working in a store and selling to people, you can take that and apply it to almost anywhere else you can work,” Hart said. “You’re pitching ideas or sales to people and hoping that they’ll buy it.”

The Claw primarily takes card or cash app payments, and once the store has a cash register installed, more cash payments can be taken. The store is still small and has limited space for inventory, and any expansion is far down the line.

“There’s an idea for an online store, but we need the space and need to figure out logistics,” Wroe said. “We’re not there yet.”

In the meantime, students have input on what’s in stock. Junior Cooper Morgan explained students notice what’s trending, and having trendy products leads to more sales.

“Let’s say there’s a trend of wearing rubber bands,” Morgan said. “That will come to our class, and we’ll say to Mrs. Wroe that people are really liking rubber bands. We can ask to buy more of them.”

Wroe is reaching out to the CTE and Fine Arts Departments to ask about offering student creations or designs in-store. For example, during the week of the Battle of the Ax, The Claw sold blank axes to decorate that were made by the CTE Construction class.

“Through this, kids can understand how different departments work together to produce a product,” Wroe said. “I want to bring in more student products into the store just so students can say they made that.”