By Columbia GSB November 23, 2011 Leave a Comment

The Columbia Business School community can now purchase School-branded merchandise through a newly launched website, Columbia Business School Gear.

The Gear site offers branded merchandise that was previously limited or unavailable, while also giving the Business School community, for the first time, the convenience of online shopping.

“People want to show their colors by wearing Columbia Business School gear and purchasing items for their kids or other relatives,” said Ben Koren, current vice president and chair of the merchandise committee for the Graduate Business Association (GBA). “They should have the ability to do that.”

A few years ago, this idea led the GBA to sell student-designed merchandise in Uris Hall to supplement the select Business School items available in the campus bookstore. However, alumni unable to reach campus were left without an alternative option. “Once you leave business school, it’s much harder to come to Columbia to buy a T-shirt,” Koren said.

To solve these problems, students endorsed the idea of an online store as another way for alumni and others to connect with the School.

“Merchandising is part of creating a lifelong community,” Koren said. “It helps foster a sense of community long after students leave Uris Hall.”

Alumni are directly involved in the Gear store’s creation: the School tapped Grossman Marketing Group, led by Ben Grossman ’06, to manage the store by maintaining the website, securing, stocking, and storing the merchandise, and handling credit card orders.

Initially, the store will carry men’s and women’s T-shirts, zippered hooded sweatshirts, mugs, aluminum water bottles, baseball caps, umbrellas, and toddler tees. All profits from the Gear site will fund the addition of new items. The site will also allow users to provide feedback or suggestions. To learn more, visit the Gear site.

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