It is possible for shoppers to be overwhelmed when entering the Castleton College Store for the first time. Spartan merchandise covers every rack, shelf, and tabletop of the quaint shop on campus.
If you find your head spinning at the hundreds of items available, you can take a load off in one of the collapsible Spartan camping chairs sitting in front of the register and clear your mind. Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, you can cozy up with a Spartan sweatshirt and jump right into the vast selection.
For many years the College Store has been a place where students went to grab school supplies, books and maybe a few posters for their dorm rooms. Now that it’s under new management, students are able to sift through their expanded apparel department, the new glassware section, and a number of other categories containing merchandise emphasizing Spartan pride.
In addition to traditional school-related items, the College Store is also the choice place for many students picking up some last minute presents for the holidays or birthdays before they return home, and some students spend smart.
“A lot of students use their book buy back money to get their parents gifts before heading back home,” said Monique Densmore, an enthusiastic employee of the store.
The types of gifts students purchase for their parents vary.
“Mainly I get my parents drinking glasses or beer mugs, they love that kind of stuff,” said senior Henry Poulin.
Freshman soccer player Owen Fellows has a different approach. “My parents love the Castleton hoodies because they want to support the school while being able to bundle up at my games, he said.
Students say many parents are happy to receive gifts both large and small from the College Store.
“I was so excited when P.J. surprised me with a Castleton bumper sticker,” said Kelley Phillips, mother of Castleton Freshman, P.J Phillips. “I ran out the minute I got it and put it on the car.”
The store is constantly trying to get input from students, families, and faculty for new item suggestions, according to Densmore. The feedback results in new products, like the seven-inch Sparty bobble head standing on the counter to greet you as you prepare to finalize your transaction.
You can browse the store’s selection online, but don’t be surprised if you have to use your rotary phone to call and place an order. You can add items to your cart online, but if you attempt to check out you are prompted with a message reading, “Currently, we can only accept credit payments over the phone so feel free use our toll-free #.”
Ryan Jacobs, Operations Service Assistant at the store, hinted at the ability to complete a transaction online in the future, but no definitive date could be provided.
If you’d like to submit a product suggestion or if you’re interested in learning more about the college store , you can check out their Twitter, Facebook page, or view part of their selection online at www.castleton.edu/collegestore.