BCA Mart

Nicole Jacob, Writer

How long will BCA Mart be closed and will BCA students see the school-run store’s comeback anytime soon? As the pandemic continues to put a strain on businesses around the world, many have had to pause operations which have caused massive economic disruption. However, publicly traded companies are not the only ones suffering during this time, but many small businesses as well as school-run businesses and nonprofits, have faced similar situations as demand and sales plummet.

“BCA Mart is our school store where students have the opportunity to run a money-making venture,” Mr. Gutierrez (Mr. G),  advisor of BCA Mart and business teacher said. “Students engage in business planning, sales, product marketing, inventory management, human resources, and financial management. Students order and manage inventory, manage sales, make pricing and new product decisions, conduct student surveys, hire and train staff, implement new technology and prepare financial reports.”

 However, the student-run business has not been able to operate because of the risks involved with the pandemic. For almost 2 years BCA Mart has not been able to run as the pandemic shut down school for a year and a half and as for the current school year, the project still runs however the physical mart itself has not been operational.

Nonetheless, work and research are being done behind the scenes to ensure success for the business once it does reopen. “Students are currently researching and testing an online retail platform, expanding the selection of goods for sale to include more non-food merchandise, and migrating to a new inventory and payment system,” Mr. G said.

Questions arise as to whether BCA Mart can forecast their reopening as it has been an integral part of BCA for many years and has allowed students to learn more about the work environment and retail in particular. “The health and safety of our students are a key priority,” said Mr. G. “BCA Mart will open to the public like it once did when these needs can be safely met.” Although there is no clear date for when students can expect the reopening of BCA Mart, there is still much anticipation to see what the school store has in stock.

Changes have been made to accommodate Covid-19 protocols and procedures that will make BCA Mart slightly different from previous years.  Mr. G. said, “We are exploring opportunities to physically open BCA Mart on a very limited basis in addition to providing an online platform for purchasing merchandise.”

An online platform for the school store will benefit both the business and students as many businesses during the pandemic have pivoted towards an online business model by strengthening their presence virtually to expand sales and provide a safer shopping experience.

BCA Mart has been a lasting success for BCA over many years and for the first time, we can witness how a major event such as the pandemic has taken a toll on the business. This same situation has been affecting numerous businesses across varied industries whose business models fell out of favor during the pandemic. 

Many big brands that have revolutionized our economy and have generated exponential sales have noticed a decline in revenues and have had to unexpectedly pause operations and production or even close down stores resembling on a much larger scale the situation BCA Mart is currently experiencing. 

As we see more variants arise, only time can tell whether things will start looking better for businesses but as of right now, many are put in a difficult position as the pandemic continues to put tension on demand and resources. Hopefully, soon we can see businesses such as BCA mart overcome the challenges of the pandemic and return to their normal operations.