The Ragin’ Cajuns Store at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and other retailers provide college students with products and resources that they need, but sometimes pricing plays a big role in a student’s decision on what best suits them financially.
Even though some students believe that the goods in the Ragin’ Cajuns Store are moderately priced, they tend to turn to cheaper options.
“Goods such as clothing are cheaper at other places. The school supply section is way too expensive. Most of the supplies in that section can be found at the dollar store for less than a dollar,” UL Lafayette junior Mo Miller-Becnel said.
According to Tim McFarland, the Ragin’ Cajuns Director of Online Store Operations, even with similar products, each store has its own set of vendors that differentiates from the other.
“It’s not exactly apples and apples. They use a vendor that we don’t have in our store,” McFarland said.
Popular companies like Nike and Adidas provide apparel to the Ragin’ Cajuns Store; however, those particular brands might not be available at other stores.
“It’s the variety of merchandise as well. Nike, Under Armour and Adidas, aren’t going to be in Walmart and Albertsons, but our prices are pretty comparable. It depends on the brand too,” Sarah Armentor, the Ragin’ Cajuns Store’s Assistant Manager said.
Some students look more towards the price of items rather than the brand names. They believe they can get the same product for a more reasonable price.
“The amount of money they ask for a shirt or fleece jacket is expensive for a student. I would rather shop at other stores such as Walmart or even online on Amazon and buy gear there,” Zahria Lloyd, a sophomore at UL Lafayette said.
However, unlike the Ragin’ Cajuns Store, some places resale the items they receive at the company’s original price or sometimes more.
“We establish our prices. We have a cost of doing business and it’s on top of that. Most of your retailers are doing Keystone which is double the cost-plus,” McFarland said.“We think we have good quality products at fair prices.”
According to Armentor, certain parts of the Ragin’ Cajuns Store’s Nike line would be sold in Academy at the same price as the Nike company. However, the Ragin’ Cajuns Store would mark-down the price in consideration for their students and their other expenses.
Despite the similarities, each business’s distinct products come with their specific price ranges, which causes fewer crossovers.
According to McFarland, they usually go through stores like Walmart and Academy to make sure that they don’t have the same vendors and products.
The staff of the Ragin’ Cajuns Store does not see many future changes in operation.
“I don’t think our formula would change. Our cost might change which would change the price, but that just means economics is raising the price of everything,” Armentor said.
However, some students seek change.
“I believe students should have at least a 10% discount while visitors pay full price,” Lloyd said.