Friday, December 20, 2013

SMU business students announce record semester in Cardinal Corner sales

Members of "Team Hats" including Michael Burfeind, Ron Enrooth, Jakub Koziuk, Jen Tobroxen and Jamal Arnold describe the results of selling stocking hats as pat of an entrepreneurship class project.
WINONA, Minn. — It was a real-life lesson in profit margins as well as the spending habits of target consumers … fellow college students.

On Dec. 11, entrepreneurship students from Saint Mary’s University summarized the incomes and expenditures of their semester projects. These students, broken into smaller groups, had chosen five new products to sell at the Cardinal Corner, a small not-for-profit retail shop located in the basement of the university’s Toner Student Center. The students chose to sell a vintage-style Saint Mary’s College shirt, stress footballs, stocking hats, tote bags and cancer awareness shirts.

Their goal was simple: Make money.

This semester, the cohort not only broke even on their inventory investment of $2,000, but Michael Ratajczyk, assistant professor of business, also announced that this semester’s cohort also broke records in both revenue generated and profit margin from their products. The Cardinal Corner brought in over $2,300 in revenue and had a profit margin over 40 percent, breaking records by over $1,000 and 800 basis points of margin.

The team that won the Inventory Turns performance was “Team Hats,” which sold a red, black, and white stocking cap. Their “turns” score was 10.4, which means that the hats would sell out 10 times per year. Team members include: Michael Burfeind, Ron Enrooth, Jakub Koziuk, Jen Tobroxen and Jamal Arnold.

The team that won the GMROI performance was “Team Shoot Pass Cure Shirts,” which sold a pink shirt that brings awareness to breast cancer. Their GMROI score was 0.43, which means that for every $1 of cash invested in inventory, the team not only earned back that dollar, but also earned an additional 43 cents. Team members include: Sarah Mills, Lucas Kubic, Otto Holzer, Cody Sprague and Tyler Krysiak.

“I am very pleased with the results of this semester and I am proud of the students.  They worked hard,” Ratajczyk said. “The students learned firsthand how difficult it can be to start a business and break even. They not only broke even, but did so by breaking sales and profit records with style.”

Jennifer Tobroxen of “Team Hats” added, “It was a great hands-on experience in learning about what types of target markets buy what kinds of products. I enjoyed the opportunities that the Cardinal Corner gave me as a business major.”

Funds from this semester will be donated to the First-Generation Initiative at Saint Mary’s.