New additions lead the Catty Shack to an income increase

A new card system, apparel and a new delivery system headline the changes


By Hannah Chern

On March 28, sophomore Kaylee Corbit inserts her debit card into the new card reading system, the Square. With the new register system, the Catty Shack now accepts card paying methods.

Sam Hanson and John Lehan

The Catty Shack has implemented several changes in recent months to make purchasing items easier for customers as well as for school store workers.The school store now accepts credit and debit cards using a new system called the “Square,” and the resulting profits have allowed the Catty Shack to create more spirit wear and start an online delivery system.

Catty Shack founder Dianna Heffernon-Meyers said the acceptance of cards was a necessity in order to take the business to the next level.

“We were kind of just running a glorified lemonade stand, that’s really what it was,” Heffernon-Meyers said. “When you only accept cash, it’s limiting because not very many people carry cash anymore, so we were flat-lined as far as our sales [go]. This has really done exactly what we had hoped it would do: it’s increased our revenue.”

The Square automates tasks that the cashiers had to previously do, and according to senior marketing student Abby Layton, makes life a lot easier for the cashiers.

“When you’re handed [a card, the Square] makes it a lot easier because you don’t have to calculate change anymore, it just tells you how much change to give,” Layton said. “It also keeps track of your sales automatically for you.”

The Square takes Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover, along with Google Pay. Although the Square is profitable, there are certain fees that come along with it, according to Heffernon-Meyers.

“For every [card payment], we pay [2.5%], of the payment total to the Square,” Heffernon-Meyers said. “So if you buy $10 [worth of items] and you [use your card], 2.5% of that $10 goes to the Square, and the rest goes to the Catty Shack.”

For Heffernon-Meyers, investing in the Square was a great business decision for the Catty Shack, despite questions about the cost.

“[Getting the Square] has been worth it because of how much our revenue has increased … $100 per week … since we got the Square,” Heffernon-Meyers said. “We were afraid that our volume was too small to cover the fees, but it’s not. We weren’t exactly sure what to expect, … but the increased revenue has allowed us to have cooler things [such as] more spirit wear.”

Beyond increased revenue, senior marketing student Dylan Wootton said the Square also manages inventory electronically and quickens sales.

“The Square has been a huge improvement to the school store,” Wootton said. “It has greatly increased the accuracy of our inventory sheets because it is electronic and the speed of our sales.”

By Hannah Chern
After reading the automated change amount on the Square, junior Kiley Philinger prepares the change for a customer on Wednesday, April 9.

The Catty Shack now has an online store, which people can access by going to the school website, scrolling down to “Popular Links” and clicking on the “MVHS Spirit Wear” tab.

The website offers two convenient shipping options that students, parents and the community can take advantage of, according to Heffernon-Meyers.

“When you order online, you can have it shipped directly to your house, but you have to pay [a separate delivery fee] for that,” Heffernon-Meyers said. “Or you can have [items] sent here where you do not have to pay [a delivery fee], and then I get it to you.”

According to Heffernon-Meyers, the inspiration for the online store came from the Advanced Marketing class and the booster club wanting a public place for people to buy Mill Valley gear.

“The Booster Club wanted an outlet for parents and community members to get generic Mill Valley spirit wear that doesn’t say ‘football’ or ‘baseball’,” Heffernon-Meyers said. “The Booster Club gave us cash to get up and running … and then they have pushed out the website to all of the Booster Club members and all of the parents.”

In order to bring new products to the Catty Shack, the Advanced Marketing class takes advantage of a local supplier that takes their ideas and turns them into reality.

“Our marketing department comes up with the ideas and then they work with Century Marketing, which is our supplier,” Heffernon-Meyers said. “Century Marketing takes [our] ideas and brings them to life, and sends us [samples]. Then, we look at them and decide what we want. We order some to put in the store, then [Century Marketing] puts the items on our website.”

After the Advanced Marketing class implemented changes to the school store, they continue to examine the differences the new changes bring, and make further changed based on that analysis.

“We do look to analyze how the changes have affected our sales,” Wootton said. “We realized we were not getting any online orders, so we started marketing the website to parents and students via email and passing out flyers with the website address.”

Layton said the team is preparing for the end of the school year, and that the returning staff will work to continue and improve on this year’s successes.

“We’re getting ready to put on our big clearance sale that we do every year,” Layton said. “For next year I know that they’re going to be implementing the use of the Square a lot more and continuing the relationship with Century Marketing.”

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