In celebration of the North Carolina men’s basketball team’s monumental NCAA Tournament run, fans flocked to Franklin Street to buy UNC gear to remember the March Madness victories.
Businesses like the Shrunken Head Boutique, Underground Printing and Chapel Hill Sportswear experienced an increase in merchandise sales as UNC progressed in the NCAA Tournament.
“In the three years that I have been here, it is the busiest we have ever been,” Ellianna Tickle, store manager at Underground Printing, said.
She added that as soon as Underground Printing received Final Four merchandise from its printer, the store was full of fans. Since the Sweet 16, Tickle estimated about 1,000 shirts have been sold.
Although Shrunken Head, a UNC merchandise store that’s been on Franklin Street since 1969, has been closed since December 2021 due to flooding damage, it has also experienced a high volume of online and pick-up orders thanks to North Carolina's tournament run.
“Immediately after we won the game against St. Peter's, we hopped on our website, and we saw much more volume than it typically is during the week,” Melissa Pate, Shrunken Head’s store manager and granddaughter of the shop's founders, said.
Shrunken Head also held pop-up tables over the weekend and on Monday around Chapel Hill to help remind people that they are still in operation even though they do not have a storefront to sell merchandise.
“It’s great to see a lot of people order for local pick-up from outside the store, which helped make up for some of the business we lost from being closed as well as a ton of people who ordered from us online,” Alana Loken, brand manager at Shrunken Head, said.
Loken said Shrunken Head sold over 1,000 shirts since the Sweet 16.