Hammes readies for big game
Caroline Huytra | Tuesday, November 27, 2012
A 2012 undefeated Notre Dame football season has resulted in excitement, celebration and anticipation for the BCS National Championship Game. At a time when students and fans want to show support and represent their home team, it is no wonder that the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore has stepped up to fill those demands.
“Our main strategy is to ensure that all of our customers’ merchandise needs are addressed,” director of retail operations Keith Kirkpatrick said.
In order to ensure a positive shopping experience, the Hammes Bookstore hired additional staff to meet increasing demands over the next month.
Kirkpatrick said a number of items highlighting the undefeated regular season schedule are currently available and a focus has been placed on potential products related to the National Championship Game.
“The release of those products cannot actually begin until the matchup is officially announced on Sunday,” Kirkpatrick said.
There are currently select items available for sale both online and in the store, and additional goods will be introduced during the course of the next week. The bookstore wants to ensure that anyone who wants something can purchase it.
With the Irish victory against USC on Saturday, Notre Dame became the only eligible undefeated team in the BCS. This game caused an increase in online bookstore traffic, but sales actually picked up much earlier, Kirkpatrick said.
“It’s been ramping up steadily over the course of the entire season,” he said. “In-store traffic also is stronger than normal at this point in the season than in years past.”
Several off-site bookstores were also constructed at away games this year. The first of these was at the game in Chicago against Miami and the second was at the USC game.
These chosen locations are based on the criteria of fan-demand and local alumni support. Kirkpatrick said the sales from the off-site bookstores were quite favorable to comparable years.
“The USC game produced the best results we’ve ever had out there,” he said.
Sales are strong and the biggest seller over the course of the year is still The Shirt, Kirkpatrick said. Player-jerseys are also favorites among fans in the store, and as a result they can now be personalized at the Varsity Shop.
“Notre Dame fans are some of the most consistent in college football today,” he said. “They don’t need undefeated seasons to support their University.”
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