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UW Students Redesign Art Museum Store

November 23, 2009
Department of Family and Consumer Sciences student Michelle Adams of Riverton helps reset merchandise in the UW Art Museum Store.

The University of Wyoming Art Museum Store is getting a merchandising facelift from UW College of Agriculture students as part of a visual promotion and merchandising class project.

The student effort will culminate Monday, Nov. 30, when the students will invite the public to see the store's new look, while collecting non-perishable food items to donate to Interfaith-Good Samaritan in Laramie. Those who donate are also eligible for a door prize from the store. The hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Associate Professor Sonya Meyer in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences was asked by museum officials earlier in the semester if students would be interested in such a project. Students are resetting/rearranging the store using visual merchandising skills. 

"We are trying to make the store more viable," says Rosanne Chapp, manager of retail operations at the Art Museum. She also noted that having students lend their expertise is a way to have student participation at UW, and they can learn skills to operate a retail business.

Katelynn Johnson, a textiles and merchandising major, likes putting classroom learning to use in a hands-on setting.

"Doing something really makes a difference, and we are helping someone at UW," says Johnson, a senior from Sidney, Neb. "We are using what we've learned, even from the early classes."

Kati Stoll of Casper said the class is trying to open up the store to better display merchandise. For example, students are bringing more expensive items out in the open and grouping similar items.

Stoll, a junior, also likes the hands-on approach. "It's so much easier for us to do things than to learn about them in the classroom," she says.

The store has more merchandise than Stoll expected. "I would like less merchandise out but the managers would like as much or more," she noted. "That's a challenge: how to make everyone happy and still make the merchandise look good."

Meyer says students are working in teams of three, and each team will develop a six-month promotion plan for the store. The plans will be presented during finals week at UW, which begins Dec. 7.

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