DECA School-based Enterprise Survey Results
(March 1999)

Surveys were mailed to 1,570 DECA advisors who operate school-based enterprises. The responses to the survey's questions are summarized below.

  1. Which of the following best describes the type of school-based enterprise (school store) operated by your chapter?
    70% – General merchandise (including snacks)
      5% – Restaurant/Food service
      1% – Credit Union/Bank
      5% – Vending
    12% – Concessions
      7% – Other: (please specify) School supplies, books, balloons, cookies, clothing, screen printing, t-shirts, spirit items, candy, coffee, seasonal items, supermarket items, mini-mart, espresso cart
  2. What product lines are carried in your school store?
    85% – Food/snacks
    65% – Drinks
    76% – School supplies
    61% – Clothing/Fashion Wear/Accessories
    35% – School ID Items
    21% – Other: (please specify) ­School spirit items, greeting cards, balloons, health and beauty aids, stuffed animal, prepaid credit cards, posters, CD's, gift items, jewelry, collectibles, savings and loan, homemade consignment items, computer items, magazines, newspapers, safety items, parking permits, teacher request items, flowers, cookies, senior class items, seasonal items, candles, groceries, uniforms, espresso, locks, athletic equipment
  3. Which of the following best describes the size of your school store?
    32% – Smaller than 100 sq. ft.
    17% – Between 120-150 sq. ft.
    14% – Between 150-200 sq. ft.
    37% – Larger than 200 sq. ft.
  4. Do you operate more than one store location?
    10% Yes
    90% No
  5. What best describes the sales volume for your school store for the past year?
    38% – Less than $10,000
    26% – Between $10,000­$25,000
    20% – Between $25,000­$50,000
    12% – Between $50,000­$100,000
      4% – Greater than $100,000
  6. Rate the following needs regarding the operation of your school store
    (1 being the highest).
    - 1 – Accounting practices
    - 2 – Curriculum resources
    - 3 – Identification of vendors
    - 4 – Justify operation to administration
    - Other needs included inventory control, advertising and promotion resources, operational procedures, vendor service, supervision, federal regulations regarding sale of food, security, time, student motivation, equipment and supplies, online cash register system, space, facilities and fixtures
  7. Are you interested being part of a DECA network that will assist in school store operations?
    91% Yes
      9% No
  8. What are your hours of operation? (Answers listed below were most frequent responses and are in order beginning with most frequent answer.)
    - Before/after school
    - Break times during school day
    - During lunch
    - Entire school day
    - Class change times between each period
  9. How many people does your school store employ? (Answers listed below were most frequent responses and are in order beginning with most frequent answer.)
    - All ME students/DECA members on rotating basis
    - No paid employees (students work for grade)
    - No paid employees (students volunteer)
    - Few schools have paid employees
    - Number of employees varies between 1-40 with 2 the most common number working at one time
  10. How could you improve your school store operation? (Answers listed below were most frequent responses and are in order beginning with most frequent answer.)
    - Larger facility/more space
    - Better location
    - Offer more products/better variety
    - Better hours of operation
    - Be allowed to sell food items
    - Incentives/motivation for student workers
    - Higher sales
    - Curriculum/better tie to ME curriculum
    - Record keeping
    - Add technology (scanners, computerized inventory, security cameras, etc.)
    - Equipment/fixtures
    - Better employee training
    - POS systems
    - Improve advertising and displays
    - Additional vendors
  11. What are the challenges you would face when trying to make these improvements? (Answers listed below were most frequent responses and are in order beginning with most frequent answer.)
    - Limited space at school
    - Time
    - Money
    - Vendors/vendor minimums
    - Motivation
    - Student accountability
    - Administrative support
    - School policies
    - Physical plant issues
    - Federal Laws regarding lunch program
    - Supervision
  12. How do you use the school store for training purposes? (Answers listed below were most frequent responses and are in order beginning with most frequent answer.)
    - Students learn all operating procedures including money handling, inventory, buying, pricing, stocking, customer service, selling, record keeping, promotion, accounting and display. School store also reinforces math skills, employability skills and problem solving skills.
    - Performance is a part of the students' grade.
    - All students operate store on a rotating schedule.
  13. Would you like to add merchandise lines to your store?
    76% Yes
    24% No
    If yes, what lines? Healthier products, better variety, specialty items, computer software, drinks, novelty and gift items, seasonal items, food items, spirit items, snacks, bottled water, NASCAR sportswear, flowers, school supplies, chips, senior class items, phone cards, discount movie tickets, clothing, beauty aids, CD's cards, and dairy products.
  14. If you do not sell food/snacks, why not? (Answers listed below were most frequent responses and are in order beginning with most frequent answer.)
    - Laws/regulations regarding federal lunch program
    - Administration will not allow; school policy
    - Cannot get adequate vendor service
    - Takes vending money away from administration
  15. Who are your top vendors? (Answers listed below were most frequent responses and are in order beginning with most frequent answer.)
      1. Frito-Lay, Inc.
      2. Pepsico
      3. Otis Spunkmeyer
      4. Sam's Wholesale
      5. Coca-Cola USA
      6. Local vendors/wholesalers
      7. Paragon foods
      8. Toms
      9. Lance
    10. Office Depot
    11. Treplo
    12. Costco
    13. Klosterman's
    14. Snapple
    15. Hostess
    16. Champion
    17. Little Debbie
    18. Kathryn Beich
    19. Dr Pepper
    20. Totem Foods
  16. How do you get products to your store? (Answers listed below were most frequent responses and are in order beginning with most frequent answer.)
    - Delivered and/or shipped
    - Some delivered and some picked up
    - Pick-up
  17. How do you measure your school store's performance? (Answers listed below were most frequent responses and are in order beginning with most frequent answer.)
    - Profit and/or sales
    - Student performance
    - Customer satisfaction
    - Comparison with previous year
    - How well profits finance our year's DECA activities

  31% – Return rate
1,570 –
Long surveys mailed
   481 –
Long surveys returned.


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