From Click to Cart: Shop DECA Behind The Scenes

Dec 1, 2023

At the 2023 Ultimate DECA Power Trip, the pop-up Shop DECA store provided a lot of insight into the inner workings of the Shop DECA operation. I had the pleasure of interviewing Ernest Winston, Shop DECA’s warehouse coordinator. Mr. Winston has been working for DECA since 2017. He is responsible for shipping and receiving all Shop DECA products and stocking items to ensure products are available to customers throughout the year.

Where is Shop DECA based?

“Shop DECA is headquartered in the same place that DECA Inc. is headquartered in, Reston, Virginia.”

The warehouse for Shop DECA operates right in the same place as the rest of DECA Inc., which is super convenient for conversations and decisions among DECA staff.  

What are some new items that Shop DECA has released?

“We just got in our blue Emerging Leader hoodies, some new sticker sets and new t-shirt designs.”

The pop-up shop at Power Trip debuted these new items, and members were extremely excited to dive into all the new items. In addition, the Shop DECA website just released a DECA Diamond Laser Engraved Stanley, Ask Me About DECA Tees and Emergency Sewing Kits!

When are the busiest times for Shop DECA?

“The busiest times are around graduation and before ICDC. So anywhere from March to May is when we receive the highest volume of orders. This is mostly because of the blazer order deadline before ICDC and chapters ordering honor cords and stoles for graduation ceremonies and awards nights.”

How long is the average product life cycle?

“Around a year for items like t-shirts or other apparel. If an item is doing really well, we’ll reorder it and make sure we have enough stock for how much demand it’s getting.”

As for more specialty items, they’ll most likely stay on the Shop DECA website for longer due to their uniqueness. Some shirt designs get phased in and out, and themed apparel will have the shortest life cycle. However, we never have to worry about the iconic DECA blazer going out of style!

How often do you wear DECA merch?

“Honestly, around four times a week! You’ll find me in it so often because it’s usually what I wear around the warehouse when packing and shipping orders.”

It’s good to know that even Mr. Winston represents our favorite organization when putting together our orders. He might have even been wearing the shirt you ordered when he shipped it to you!

If you had to estimate, how many DECA blazers are in the warehouse right now?

“Oh, if I had to say, I’d guess around 300 right now? Our next shipment of blazers will be coming in December, but as for what we have currently on hand, it would have to be somewhere around 300.”

What decisions and questions go behind creating new products?

“We have a team that works together to manage that aspect of Shop DECA. We manage the product line development, replenishment, promotional planning and retail operations.”  

Mr. Winston can guarantee that all the items you can find on the Shop DECA website have gone through careful consideration and were made with your wants and needs in mind.

How often are customer suggestions considered when developing products?

“Customer suggestions are always welcomed and often do become products that are then found on the website. We always want more suggestions for new items!”

Some past customer suggestions that have become products include DECA water bottles, tropical shirts and even the exclusive DECA earrings found at the Shop DECA Power Trip pop-up store! If there is an item you’d like to see sold from Shop DECA, let Shop DECA staff know so we can make your DECA merch dream a reality.

And finally, do you have a personal favorite item from Shop DECA?

“I really like our DECA rain jackets, they are very nice!”

Handling and shipping all of our Shop DECA orders, I’m sure Mr. Winston knows what our personal favorite items are too!

Hearing from Mr. Winston was an absolute pleasure and thanks to his time and perspective, we now know a little bit more about what goes on behind the scenes at our favorite go-to retailer for all our DECA apparel and chapter needs!


Jennifer White
Shop DECA Retail Manager

Jennifer White is Shop DECA's retail manager. In this role, she manages the operations of Shop DECA including product line development and replenishment, as well as promotional planning and retail operations. She works closely with the Shop DECA team to ensure customers have a positive experience shopping with Shop DECA.

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