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The Knight Online

Why Schools Are The Best Neighbors

How students boost local businesses
Clotee Allochuku
Students of Notre Dame support many businesses near campus or in Sherman Oaks because of their proximity; some favorites include Starbucks, In-N-Out, and Classic Donuts & Croissants. (Photo from Wikimedia)

There is some controversy around teen customers. Teenagers create a different atmosphere when they visit local stores.  They crowd into the same stores daily and usually tend to be loud. While sometimes this can be harder to manage than other customers, this energy gives businesses a reliable time and supply of people coming in at least every weekday.  This gives a relatively reliable weekly income, young customers willing to try new things, and teens drawn to sales. 

Students, like any other customers, can cause problems for stores. However, they can be easily stopped by looking at a uniform and picking up the phone. Notre Dame students had been leaving trash at a local In-n-Out, negatively affecting the business and disrupting other customers.  While this issue shouldn’t have happened, it was quickly stopped by one call to the school. Other customers can cause issues for stores as well, but there isn’t a simple solution to disruptive adults.

Students are price-sensitive, so advertising a sale and selling popular products of a certain age range is likely to attract younger customers.  Finding ways to draw the attention of teens is key, and being in proximity to consumers like students is necessary for a business to do well.

Students can help financially, but the Crimson White says, “Students’ support of local businesses isn’t limited to their spending.”  Through bringing friends, posting the business, and talking about the product they can attract other customers as well.

Any location near a school allows a business to make a product customers will want and keep in high demand on a regular basis.  Smaller businesses or thrift stores can do just as well as large chain stores, if not better, by attracting teens. This year, Lexington law firm gives statistics showing that “30% of teens prefer these specialty stores while only 10% prefer shopping at major chains.”

Scarlett Duncan ’26 and Annabelle Hartwick ’26 both frequent small businesses around school often, around three to four times a week.

Hartwick ’26 says, “I feel like I spend more money on Starbucks or the mall than places in my neighborhood.” 

Starbucks is a favorite among Notre Dame students and the fall season only brings in more customers. Duncan ’26 says, “Right now, I go every Thursday to get a free fall drink.”

Businesses around schools are booming especially after dismissal.  Duncan ’26 says, “[Students] don’t need anyone to drive them, and it’s an easy and convenient way to get things they want or need.

But does all the benefit of business counteract the problems that students may bring into these stores? Hartwick ’26 says, “I think stores benefit from Notre Dame students, especially food shops and Starbucks, but there are some issues because students are rowdy and can crowd the stores.”

It is undeniable that students bring a large amount of revenue to these small businesses. However, it is imperative that students support these businesses and show respect to the people who are serving them.

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