For most, Florida A&M University’s Homecoming is a time to celebrate, network and display school spirit, all while showing out in terms of fashion. Whether ordering pieces online or hitting the in-store sales events, students typically plan weeks ahead to find the perfect look for all the events and activities.
As hundreds of Rattlers are preparing to partake in the homecoming festivities, local store owners are preparing for the increased business Tallahassee is expected to feel.
Demetri Lindsey, Assistant Manager of Jimmy Jazz, braces for the crowd by putting a lot of items on sale in an effort to better drive up the store’s revenue.
“As far as the foot traffic goes, right now it’s pretty slow. But it’s definitely going to pick up,” Lindsey said.
Pink Shoe Bag owner Anthony Castro also anticipates a successful return on investment, explaining that college students have been his biggest supporters, specifically FAMU.
“One thing I noticed right off the bat: the difference between FAMU versus Florida State when it comes to fashion,” Castro said. “With FSU you’ll have a group of girls and they are all wearing the same thing… (At FAMU) they all have their own style and they are all dressing up. It’s like a fashion show almost. These are my customers.”
Business Administration major Cassandra Clitus is a regular at the Pink Shoe Bag. She enjoys how affordable and stylish the shoes are.
“I love shopping here,” said Clitus. “The shoes are cute, you can’t find them anywhere else in Tallahassee and they’re a good price.”
In preparation for another lucrative homecoming season, Red Apple Apparel manager Tiffany Monson believes it is important to know the specific needs of potential customers.
“It’s all about following the trends and getting the things that our customers want,” Monson said. “It just entails doing a lot of research on what is currently popular to make sure that we are going to have the things that the girls want.”
Many homecoming shoppers may find it interesting that other popular chain stores, like JCPenney, are also making preparations for the mass arrival of customers. Jean Lalanne, general manager of the Governor’s Square Mall JCPenney, makes sure to accommodate all the shoppers that may come inside.
“We overstaff to ensure everybody that’s here can shop,” Lalanne explained. “We also get all the FAMU merchandise out on the aisle front and center so as soon as you come in, you see it, you like it, you buy it… A lot of that FAMU gear is going to be gone, so we make sure all the good stuff is front and center and ready to go.”
FAMU’s homecoming has rewarding outcomes for buyers and sellers alike. The customer is able to find all the necessary components to show off their fashion skills, and stores are able to meet their sales goals and make ways for new items.