OU students take advantage of Target's “Back to College” shopping excursion
It was the fifth year for the late-night, semiprivate annual event designed to draw new OU students to the SuperTarget.
NORMAN — As hundreds of eager University of Oklahoma college freshmen departed the private buses sent by the SuperTarget store in Norman, students and employees traded shouts of “Boomer!” and “Sooner!” during Target's after-hours “Back-To-College” shopping excursion.
It was the fifth year for the late-night, semiprivate annual event designed to draw new OU students to the SuperTarget between 10:30 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 a.m. Sunday.
“The idea is that many of our students relocate from other places and this is an opportunity to let them know that a SuperTarget store exists in Norman just four miles away from campus,” store Team Leader Mark Cejda said. “Obviously, you can feel the enthusiasm and we're energized by the way SuperTarget connects with the students. I think that as OU gets bigger and bigger, there are lots of options for students and we want them to know SuperTarget is here for them.”
SuperTarget employees prepared for the special event by providing large black and yellow signs designated as “College Stuff,” which generally included college student comforts like mini-refrigerators, body pillows and bean-bag chairs.
“We do bulk displays because of the volume and so students can see them easily,” Cejda said. “The students get things like storage, bedding and food. Last year our sales went up by 15 percent when compared to a regular Saturday night sales total.”
Target held 68 similar happenings near college campuses around the country. The OU student attendees each received free coupon books worth $50 during the bus ride to the store. On arrival, the students were given free samples by OU student volunteers of everything from frozen yogurt to vitaminwater. They also received free samples of items including dental floss, body lotion and more. OU student volunteers received a SuperTarget gift card for their work.
Sandy Calligan, team leader for the SuperTarget's Pizza Hut and Cold Stone Creamery areas, stayed busy passing out snacks to the students. She said she enjoys the late-night positive energy that the young shoppers bring to the store.
“It is a blast,” Calligan said. “This is my third year to do it and it is a wonderful environment. I like all the Boomer-Sooner stuff.”