Spacious spirit store is so sweet

Can this new space be the beginning of something incredible?


Henry Mazza ’21

Elder spirit store’s welcoming sign (new addition as of 2019)

Many current students and teachers here at Elder can tell you how unappealing the old spirit store was in the small room of the Donohoe Center. The old store crammed into a too small space that limited the effectiveness of sales and displays.

However, only the ones who have been here the longest can tell you about the spirit store in the basement of Elder’s building. Believe it or not, this store was actually smaller than the one we all grew up with in the Donohoe Center.

Although the spirit store has had many changes over the years nothing compares to the magnitude that this new change has brought to the table.

This is the original blueprint for the layout of the new spirit store. However, chances needed to be made to accommodate safety regulations. (Lukas Marlman ’21)

Mrs. Deanna Doerflein is the one who holds the spirit store together, from fully planning out the layout of the new space, to ordering and doing research for every order. Without her contributions, I’m sure the shop wouldn’t be what it is today.

Another key point as to why the spirit store has always been a favorite of Elder fans, alumni, students,  and  faculty,  is because of Mrs. Doerflein’s diligent listening skills. She said that she is always listening to students about what we want to see in the store, and she knows when and what to order for every shipment. Mrs. Doerflein is always up to date about the latest trends that students are rocking. Before the spirit store Mrs. Doerflein worked in retail,  which explains how she can effortlessly keep a constant flow of customers walking in.

With the new upgrade of space, the spirit store has more room for, “expansion of product lines, visual appealing aspects, and you can see everything,” said Doerflein. It also allows the shop to steam the football games with its new addition of two tv’s.  Space is everything for a store, since it allows a customer to walk around freely and browse the selections with ease. There are many retail secrets to get more business, like having cash registers on the left forcing you to walk right (mainly because the majority of people are right handed) to hopefully find more things to buy. This trick makes you walk around a bigger section of the store to hopefully grab more items than you came in search of.

Dead space of the spirit store that allows customers to plan out a route before shopping (Henry Mazza ’21)

As you walk into the spirit store notice how there is a “dead space” when you first enter and then the registers are on the left side. Dead space is implemented to allow customers to look around the store and find which direction they want to go before making a move.

Elder’s spirit store is unique, not only does it hold all different kinds of apparel and items, it is the only spirit shop in the archdioceses that doesn’t make a profit. Every single dollar and penny that goes into the cash register is given back to the students of Elder via, grants, tuition assistance, and vouchers. Mrs. Doerflein said, “Our main goal is to give back to the boys.” She also mentioned that polls for the students to ask what they want to see have been sent out previously.

Pullquote Photo

This store was supposed to open at the end of the football season last year, but construction had some bumps along the way.”

— Mrs. Doerflein

As the football season had already begun the spirit store has seen a great influx of customers, this is due to the fact that new students, parents, family and fans are all wanting their Elder gear, and what better time to do it than football season.

Rules and restrictions can be applied to just about everything in life, even our own logos. Elder’s spirit store has to follow copyright laws and produce logos in certain ways. For example, if a logo is classified more so in the category of “art” then the name of Elder must be produced above the logo. However, to combat this Mrs. Doerflein has came up with ways to keep each piece special, like for example how some hoodies in the store have the Elder logo on the hood itself.

While restocking and tracking what items are ready to reordered can be a painstaking process, the store came equipped with a POS system (Point of sale), which tracks all inventory and can tell on a dime what is in and what is out and what needs to be reordered.

Mrs. Doerflein’s plan for each item in the shop to be numbered, enhancing the easiness of restocking/finding a product (Lukas Marlman ’21)

With all of this, the spirit store has a great potential to compete at college levels. Mrs. Doerflein said that the spirit store in its current configuration, can compete with small college spirit stores. That is a huge jump considering what the store came from just before. When asked “what did you first think when you saw the new shop for the first time,” Mrs. Doerflein replied, “I cried, it’s such a beautiful space.”

Only great things are to be expected from our spirit store and only great things is what we will get under the new roof of our great spirit store.

Fun Facts:

  • Elder’s spirit store has sent shipments nation and world wide and has even sent packages to military bases across the country.
  • The only employed worker for the spirit store is Mrs. Doerflein herself (She has been with the store since the fall of 2006.)
    • However, moms can and should volunteer whenever possible
  • The graphics on the walls were designed by Mrs. Doerflein, but came into fruition due to Mr. Rogers’ skillful knowledge. She wrote a blue print and had a say in what was decorated.
  • The online store has been up and running for 10 years as of today.
  • Store hours can be found online. (store hours).