Employees at the Mizzou Store are working extra to meet the influx of shoppers that Homecoming brings each year. There is new merchandise arriving to the shelves and the demand for all things black and gold is high.
Junior Lauren Ries, who has worked at the store for over a year, says the days before Homecoming are crowded and hectic.
“At one point last year, I couldn’t move,” Ries said. She was trying to return the clothes from the fitting room to the sales floor and said there was someone at every rack. “I had to wait or squeeze through.”
Ries said there were so many people that the line stretched “all the way over to the Under Armour.” That was with additional temporary cash registers running and almost all the employees working.
Both students and alumni swarm the store for “Black and Gold Friday,” when a 25 percent discount is offered on some merchandise the Friday before home football games. The Friday before the Homecoming game, the rush is even more intense.
“Zoutique sold out of black and gold dresses in ten minutes,” Ries said of last year’s sale. She said the line for the single fitting room wrapped around the back wall. “Girls are getting their game-day outfit.”
Part of the increase in sales is due to Homecoming merchandise hitting the racks at the same time as the new fall sweaters, coats and accessories. Almost every section gets new merchandise this time of year, and people of all ages come to buy it.
“There are a ton of families here, a lot of recent graduates,” Ries said. “People like to come buy Mizzou shirts.”
Because this is her third semester working in the Mizzou Store, Ries says she has learned which weekends are always the busiest.
“[The busiest weekends are] the Friday before kickoff, because it’s the freshmen’s first Black and Gold Friday, Parents Weekend and Homecoming, of course.” she said.
She has noticed the beginning and end of the semester actually aren’t as busy as Homecoming time because they’re spread out over several weeks.
The Homecoming rush lasts mostly the Friday before and the Saturday of the football game. Running the store that weekend requires all employees to work together. To meet demand, the store has a cashier on every register and an employee assigned to every section of the store.
“If you call in on Homecoming, everyone hates you.” Ries said with a laugh.
For employees, the weekend is busy and exhausting. Though the store normally closes at 9 p.m. on Black and Gold Fridays, this week it will close at 10 p.m.
After that, the employees will stay and prepare the store for Saturday morning. They must fold and hang clothes, organize and clean until the store is perfect. This may take hours.
“The game is at 11:00,” Ries said. “I’ll probably go home and go straight to bed.”
Edited by Claire Colby | firstname.lastname@example.org