Diversified Merchandise Added as Bookstore Sales Soar

Posted: July 25, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Nicholas Zinzer

Sales this year at the George Mason University Bookstore are up significantly, thanks to the men’s basketball team’s run to the NCAA Final Four in March, prompting management to add new lines of clothing and gifts.

“Our fiscal year starts at the beginning of May and so far, overall sales are ahead of last year, specifically in clothing and gifts,” says Jack Smith, general manager.

Since May, clothing sales have climbed 95 percent ahead of last year during the same period, and bookstore gift sales have increased 74 percent. Smith says he has noticed a marked change in student’s attitudes about Mason since the school’s success in the NCAA Tournament. “There does seem to be more school spirit, which is evident in the clothing and gift sales.”

The bookstore has increased merchandise and diversified its stock for the fall semester. Much of it will include new Mason-themed products. “We are trying out products we wouldn’t have tried before,” says Smith.

In addition to stocking logo dorm chairs, trashcans, and outdoor tents this fall, the bookstore will add a “highly requested product” – replica basketball jerseys – just in time for back-to-school shoppers.

The bookstore currently sells Mason-themed merchandise in partnership with corporate sponsors, and Nike is one of the biggest sellers. “We have Nike [products] because it has been requested from customers and the school. The [men’s basketball] players wear Nike on the court,” explains Smith.

The Under Armour brand has also been added to the merchandise lineup.

The bookstore, which is owned by Barnes and Noble, has plans to expand its operations and sell products at another location on the Fairfax Campus. “We also have a new kiosk at the Patriot Center for selling merchandise during games. We will be able to stock a lot more products at the games and be more visible,” says Smith.

The Fairfax Campus bookstore is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Sundays. The Arlington and Prince William Campuses also have bookstores. Some gift and clothing items, as well as textbooks, can be ordered online. For more information, visit the web site or call 703-993-2666.

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