Shop Managers Roundtable — May 12th 2021

On May 12, the second Shopkeeper’s Roundtable workshop occurred with great discussion.  There were 26 attendees representing 20 schools.  It was a wonderful turnout.  The focus of the workshop was centred on 3 questions with opportunity for general discussion.

For this workshop, the groups answered the following questions:

  • What are your plans for back to school including the school’s choice to stay with casual uniform or going back to full uniform?
  • If you go back to uniform, how are you planning to handle fitting both this year’s students and 2021 students?
  • What have we taken away from this year to help us plan for next year? In particular, what have been the surprise successes or what has worked really well?

The plans for back to school uniforms ranged from still wearing casual clothing from slacks, quilts and golf shirts, to full uniform.  Shopkeepers are working with their school administration closely to ensure inventory is sufficient based on the decision.  If schools were wearing casual clothing at the onset of the school year, there would be a move in 2022 to be in full uniform.  There were a few schools that were still undecided.

In terms of fittings for new parents and returning parents, there was a combination of in person fittings based on appointments giving sufficient time to the parents and students to try on clothes with those schools providing only online shopping.  Some of those shopping online or via zoom have the opportunity to return items if they do not fit as long as tags remain on the item.  It appears all shopkeepers have gone online with curbside pickup throughout the year.  Also, many shopkeepers were on their own serving parents and students as a result of the pandemic.

Lastly, shopkeepers expressed that it has been a challenge navigating the changing needs of the school and assisting parents and students. However with the challenges, many benefits were highlighted:

  • Flexibility of schedule
  • Curb-side pick up allowed step count to be great — excellent workout
  • Updated inventory
  • Appreciate the students who are the soul of our schools
  • Resilience and adaptability — we can manage on our own while appreciating our volunteers
  • Community support and understanding

A big thank you to the shopkeepers for helping us keep our children in uniform, being flexible in the ever changing requirements because of the pandemic.  We appreciate all that you do!