Affordable apparel is an option

MORGAN LEGEL | Columnist

Butler University’s school spirit will always be high, but unfortunately, so will its bookstore’s prices on merchandise.

Students want to show spirit  by wearing Butler blues, but how can that happen when a simple sweatshirt is so expensive?

According to the Butler Bookstore’s website, the cheapest sweatshirt not on clearance for both men and women is $13.99, and the most expensive is in the women’s department for $80.

Granted, the bookstore has “flash sales,” which are generally decent deals, but what if a student misses them? Shouldn’t students have access to affordable, quality merchandise whenever they want?

“I think it’s ridiculous that (the bookstore) sell(s) their sweatshirts for $50 when, in reality, it probably only costs $20 to make,” said sophomore Katie Springston.

Clothing is not the only merchandise that students feel is overpriced. The bookstore also carries products such as lanyards, jewelry, bags and plush toys.

“I think that it’s sad that the grumpy cat dolls cost so much, because they’re really cute and I would like one,” said sophomore Alexandra Selheim.

Both Springston and Selheim said they believe that the bookstore is not competitively priced and could do better about this issue. But how?

First, we have to acknowledge the bookstore itself is not the sole contributor to the high cost of apparel. The brands being sold have a lot to do with the situation as well.

Looking back at the prices, the most expensive brand is Nike, and the cheapest is MV Sport.

As much as everyone enjoys complaining about what Butler is doing wrong, how about looking at what Butler is doing right?

The bookstore is trying to accommodate students by giving them name brands they desire, like Nike, but also giving them affordable options like MV Sport. The MV Sport option may not always be what the students want, but the option is available. The bookstore is trying.

Is there somewhere the bookstore can meet the students in the middle on prices? Some students suggest coupons to increase sales and give students an incentive to spend their money in the bookstore. Other students suggest a mark down throughout the store. But the bookstore is a business, and neither of these options are particularly profitable for it.

The only answer that will truly work is an extension of the trickle down theory. Students have to buy the things that they want at the prices they are now.

This seems like a stupid solution, but it is actually very logical. The bookstore will get better deals when it orders more of one product. It will order more of that product if it knows students like it.

Even though the bookstore could not be reached for a comment, students should give it a break and try to support the business.