Dee Dee Allen, manager of the Hendrix bookstore, recalls the scene at the store in Hendrix Village during halftime of the Warriors’ football opener.
The bookstore is just about a block away from Young-Wise Memorial Stadium, but entry is through a construction area with a concrete walk over rough terrain with several obstacles. The construction workers allowed the crowd access to visit the bookstore.
“I look out and it was like the sea (with fans heading to the store) parting,” said Allen, who said sales of clothing and Hendrix memorabilia were also brisk at a table in the lobby of the stadium.
“After the game, I walked into the store and there were people everywhere; it was amazing,” she said.
For the five-game home season, Allen said sales of Hendrix clothing increased by about 70 percent over the previous year. She said sales of all kinds of souvenirs and memorabilia — pennants, flags, pins, small helmets also were heavy.
“And caps. We sold tons of caps,” she said, adding, “the return of football was pretty good to us. I could tell people came to campus who would have not made the effort if it wasn’t for football. There were alumni who I haven’t seen in years.”
The coveted T-shirt, “Hendrix Football: Undefeated since 1960,” sold out months before the first game.
Sales crossed all demographics.It accentuated a trend in which several Conway residents have noted that they’ve seen more people wearing Hendrix gear around town than any time in history.
“Students pretty much had their gear,” Allen said. “But we sold a lot of alumni. And families of the athletes were very supportive. They bought a lot of stuff.”
For next season, Allen said she hopes to add Hendrix-themed tailgating tents and logoed chairs.
“Those take longer to get from the supplier, but we always hope to add new stuff,” she said.
Temperatures during football season were ranged from extremely hot to hot to mild — polos, T-shirts, shorts and jeans were abundant.
“I had hoped to sell a lot of sweatshirts and hoodies but it was too warm for that during the season, so we sold mostly short-sleeved shirts,” she said.