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an independent take on campus stores

Suitable Attire Is a Good Fit for Students and Independent Campus Stores

[fa icon="calendar"] Jan 31, 2018 2:45:30 PM

Robert A. Walton

Written by Robert A. Walton

CEO, National Association of College Stores

College students may wear ripped jeans and baggy sweats to class, but when it comes to job and internship interviews, they have to look polished and professional. They won’t get a second chance to impress prospective employers and recruiters.

Unfortunately, most students don’t own proper interview clothes. Some don’t even know what constitutes appropriate business clothing. Students that are already struggling to pay school expenses often can’t afford to buy professional outfits.

The November 2017 Monthly Student Panel survey conducted by NACS OnCampus Research confirmed that many students need a helping hand in this area:

  • 18% of respondents confessed they weren’t sure what to wear to an interview.
  • 16% thought it was all right to dress down for an interview if the company had a casual dress code.
  • 13% said they have no interview-appropriate clothes at all.
  • 37% have had to borrow professional wear from friends or family.
  • 19% admitted to being underdressed for an interview in the past.
  • 62% have researched what to wear for an interview.

That’s why we’re launching indiCo Suitable Attire. It’s a turnkey program for independent campus stores that provides students with an easy, affordable way to look professional and feel confident in interviews and on other important occasions.

Through indiCo Suitable Attire, students can order classic, tailored black suits and separates. They can buy the pieces outright or choose to rent them just for the term, with an option to purchase before the return date. Suits are shipped directly to students and rentals can be easily returned with the prepaid label provided.

Participating independent campus stores receive a small commission on suit sales, but this isn’t about making money for indiCo or stores. This is an opportunity to expand your student support services and collaborate with your Career Services office to address a barrier to student success.

Because suits fit differently than the casual clothes they’re accustomed to wearing, students may need help from campus store associates to determine their correct size. indiCo will furnish the tape measures, along with marketing support and informational brochures for stores and Career Services offices to hand out to students, all at no cost to participating stores. For a small fee, stores also can opt to buy one or two mannequins to display sample suits, so that students can see the quality and styles before ordering.

As an added benefit to students, campus stores may want to offer suit accessories—shirts, belts, ties, and so on—to complete the interview outfit. indiCo Direct is working on adding accessories to our catalog sometime later this year; watch for announcements.

Suitable Attire is only for independent campus stores, however, schools that don’t have an institutionally operated campus store can make Suitable Attire available to their students through their campus Career Services. indiCo will provide brochures with ordering information for Career Services to distribute to students.

In the OnCampus Research survey, almost 71% of students expressed interest in a program to rent or buy career attire at their school. A whopping 92% agreed that dressing well is important in an interview, but when asked to rate their own interview confidence, students averaged only 6 on a 10-point scale.

Having a good suit to wear will take one worry off their mind.

Contact us if your store or career services office is interested in helping students be better prepared for interviews. indiCo will also be at a number of trade shows this winter, including the Independent College Bookstore Association’s Retail Conference (Feb. 13-15 in Anaheim, CA) and NACS’ own CAMEX (March 2-6 in Dallas, TX).

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