Retailers score with Mizzou apparel

Monday, October 8, 2007 | 9:19 p.m. CDT; updated 10:28 a.m. CST, Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Cubbies that were filled with Gold Rush T-shirts at Tiger Spirit on Saturday were empty Monday. Tiger Spirit sold out of Gold Rush shirts within two hours of opening.

COLUMBIA — MU football players weren’t the only winners this weekend.

Retailers selling Mizzou shirts, onesies and pompoms were blitzed with customers and are now working to replenish shelves.

Saturday’s blowout win against Nebraska was a “Gold Rush” event, and fans were encouraged to wear gold to the game. With a sell-out crowd filling Faurot Field, thousands of gold colored T-shirts flew off of store shelves.

“I’ve been doing this for 13 years, and we’ve never seen a sellout during Gold Rush before,” said Michelle Dillard, owner of the downtown shop Tiger Spirit. Dillard said the store was out of gold shirts for adults by 1 p.m. Saturday.

“It’s a very happy problem to have,” she said.

With MU’s football team rising in national rankings — from 17th to 11th in The Associated Press rankings compiled over the weekend — it’s likely to continue to be a season of sellouts.

Gold Rush and Blackout are yearly events organized by MU’s athletics department encouraging fans to come to football games dressed in their gold or black colored gear. The Blackout game is Nov. 10 against Texas A&M.

The next home game is Oct. 20, when MU plays Texas Tech for homecoming.

Missouri Cotton Exchange owner Barb Glenn said that businesses they provide MU merchandise to, such as Hy-Vee and Schnucks, sold many more T-shirts last week than normal — a total of more than 500.

Both the University Bookstore and the Tiger Team Store on campus also sold out of gold T-shirts by late in the afternoon Saturday. “The Team Store called over to the Bookstore because they were sold out of all their gold T-shirts larger than a size medium, and we couldn’t help them because we were in the same boat,” said Michelle Froese, spokeswoman for University Bookstore.

The sales streak seems to be continuing.

On Monday morning Dillard said she fielded an above average number of online orders to fill and a list of vendors to call for reorders to replenish the shelves. Dillard also said she will use the reordering she has to do as an opportunity to get a jump on stocking inventory for homecoming.

Froese said that the weekend’s large movement of inventory has provided space in the University Bookstore for the introduction of more long sleeved, winter items.

Froese also said that the University Bookstore “expected this sellout, because there is always a correlation between wins and sales.”

Besides increasing sales for businesses all over the community, Froese said that a winning team can also help raise a university’s national awareness.

“Strong performing teams are great for universities” she said. “They put their name out there for perspective students who would have never known about the school otherwise.”

Glenn said her business was scurrying Monday to print more merchandise to replenish local stores.

“The more wins you have, the more shirts you sell, and not just on game day,” she said. But, “there’s always tomorrow to make more.”

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