Students get a first hand experience of retail by opening their own shop

STUDENTS studying hospitality, catering and retail entry level are adopting a practical approach to their course at the College of West Anglia, Isle campus by opening the ‘Spend a Little Shop’ on campus.

The shop is open Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays from 10.30-11.00am and 1.00-1.30pm in C4 and sells a variety of items including food, drink and themed gifts.

The students have recently been finding out what it’s like to run their own ‘business. They were tasked with creating an idea for a shop and bringing their ideas to reality through running and managing a ‘tuck shop’ style business as part of their enterprise module.

Penny Haythorn, course tutor, said: “The students have come up with their own ideas and have worked really hard to make and sell a variety of items as well as assemble their displays to simulate a real shop environment.

“They have chosen different themes to focus on, including valentines and mother’s day. The venture has involved some good teamwork and lots of creativity from the students having got involved with sourcing and producing the merchandise”.

Penny said: “It’s crucial that we support our student’s efforts to develop good customer service and money handling skills. It is to their credit that they have been able to source, run and manage this project, which will have a beneficial effect on their education. All funds raised from the ‘Spend a Little Shop’ are ploughed back into the business”.

One of the students taking part in the project, Luke Ilsley, said: “It’s really good to be able to put our ideas into reality.

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“We have worked hard making products, designing and managing the shop, so to see the final product is great. It’s also given us a good taste of what it would be like to run our own businesses.”