What do you do when you find yourself with an overabundance of a certain product? In most cases, you can either just send the surplus back or decide to get creative and find a way to make it work to your store’s advantage. That’s exactly the situation the staff at The Book Mark found themselves in, when they accidentally ordered over 300 candy bars from one of their vendors.
“We knew we could just return them, but we wanted to see how many we could sell,” said Administrative Assistant Heidi Wobbrock. “Since it was close to Valentine’s Day — which is obviously a good candy holiday — we decided to make candy bar bouquets.”
With a donation of mason jars already on hand and minimal investment in tissue paper and other decorative touches, Wobbrock enlisted the aid of a few other craft-loving staff members and put together bouquets, each with seven full-sized candy bars.
“During the back-to-school rush, we had four faculty members help us out when students came in to get their books. To thank them, we made black-and-gold bouquets, and delivered those to their offices,” she said. “All together, we put out 17 Valentine’s Day-themed ones for sale and ended up selling all of them within three days.”
Wobbrock said that they’d anticipated mostly sales to administrative staff members, but it turned out that most of the purchases were actually made by students.
“We priced them at $8.99, so they were definitely reasonable,” she added. “It’s always nice when we can put together something fun that our students can easily afford — it’s just another way to show our appreciation.”
After seeing the promotion on Facebook, some family members also called the store and ordered bouquets as a surprise for their students. This has prompted the bookstore staff to brainstorm options for future bundles.
“Something like Easter baskets or graduation bouquets are a possibility,” Wobbrock said. “We’re also considering creating care packages that parents and families could order for their students, made up of items we sell in the store. So we could have a ‘Get Well’ one, with cough drops, medicine, Campbell’s soup bowls and tissues; or a ‘Good Luck on Finals’ one with protein bars, snacks and candy. We’re always trying to find ways to offer more convenience and great products to students and their families that won’t break the bank.”