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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Some local stores see downturn in Gators merchandise sales

With the combination of two football losses, a month of away games and an off-week, some local Gators merchandise stores are feeling the strain from a lack of interest.

Clint Wilson, general manager for Gator Fever on Archer Road, said the store has seen a drop in sales.

"The Gator fans aren't quite as enthusiastic as they were during September," Wilson said.

Even though it hasn't been a great month for Gator Fever, Wilson said it's still better off than college stores for other universities.

"We have such a big fan base," he said.

Lynne Vaughan, director of UF Bookstore, said last week was a little rough.

It's been quiet since no October games are scheduled, but they hope to make up for the lack of sales in November, she said.

Homecoming marks the beginning of November with a home game against Vanderbilt University.

The UF Bookstore also hopes to sell a large amount of merchandise this weekend during UF's Family Weekend 2007, which runs Friday and Saturday, she said.

The family weekend will include workshops, receptions and Gators athletic events.

The weekend will increase the potential for families to shop for Gators gear, Vaughan said.

Nandy Ferguson, the general manager for Florida Book Store on West University Avenue, said locals aren't buying a lot of merchandise.

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However, the football losses against Auburn University and Louisiana State University have not affected their catalog and web orders.

"The two little blips we've had have not hurt us in any way, shape or form," Ferguson said.

Florida Book Store isn't the only store that has seen steady business despite football losses and scheduling.

Sandy Canevari, store manager for Gator Mania in The Oaks Mall, said weekends are faring well for the store.

Last Saturday, sales were busier than normal, Canevari said.

Serra Bass, cashier clerk at Gator Shop on West University Avenue, said UF students make up a major part of the store's consumers.

Business has been the same, she said.

"The kids are still here," she said. "We're still pretty busy."

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