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High school students practice business with own training department store

Date Posted: 2008-02-06

The Gushisho Department Store is largely fictional, but then again, for students of Gushikawa Commercial High School, it is very real and with very real customers.
The school just completed its annual training exercise, operating their own private department store selling cookies, buns, wash powder, car accessories and more. A total of 5,781 customers browsed the aisles of the Gushisho Department Store, making purchases and giving the 580 student stockholders a chance to practice making real world business decisions.
President Sho Kuba says “this program is our own special project that nobody else is doing yet, and it will play effectively in our students’ futures.” The training project generated sales of ¥3.68 million, turning a real world profit of ¥207,710. As in the commercial realm, ¥100,000 went to the student stockholders as dividends. A ¥50,000 donation was made to Animal Hospital, an NPO Foundation. Each of the 580 student stockholders had invested ¥1,000 to purchase the goods sold at the Gushibo Department Store.
It didn’t go well for every student, even as real world businesses encounter setbacks. “The bread didn’t sell very well, says Erika Sakima, who worked in the bread department. “We didn’t know how to get customers interested in buying bread. We just learned how hard business really is, and making a profit is difficult too.
The Gushisho Department Store project was conducted last month for the 14th time since the high school opened it.

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