Monday, September 24, 2012

University of Missouri Bookstores Open The Mizzou Store

The University of Missouri Bookstores opened a new store in Chesterfield, Mo., on August 29th, 2012! 
In the three weeks since it opened, the Mizzou Store has exceeded our expectations, both in terms of customer feedback and in store sales.   Just 104 miles east of Columbia, Mo., Chesterfield is a thriving suburb of St. Louis.  Almost twenty percent of Mizzou’s worldwide alumni live in the greater St. Louis area and they are an extremely loyal and engaged fan base.  Given the excitement surrounding Mizzou’s recent move to the Southeastern Conference, it only made sense for the University Bookstores to seize an opportunity to take the Mizzou brand to an enthusiastic community.

From the start, our goal was to create a retail environment that brought a uniquely Mizzou experience to our shoppers.   As customers enter the 4,000 sq. ft. store, they step onto a custom tile floor that recreates the green turf of Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium, replete with yard lines and the SEC logo.  A life size statue of Truman the Tiger, Mizzou’s mascot, waves a greeting to all who enter. To the left, leaning goal posts and a set of bleachers with mannequins remind fans of some of Mizzou’s most exciting victories.  To the right stands a replica of six Columns, reminders of Mizzou’s enduring legacy.  “Mizzou Mecca!” cried one customer when she saw many of the iconic images in the store, including an actual school bus painted in Tiger stripes!

There is plenty of Mizzori merchandise among the many iconic images. Whether it is outfitting a newborn or supplying tailgate flags, official SEC button-downs or a set of Mizzou embellished wine glasses, the Mizzou Store promises a wide variety of merchandise to appeal to Mizzou fans and alumni at all stages of their life.  We want to reignite school spirit and fan passion by recreating the Mizzou experience.

The Mizzou Store is a prototype for the University Bookstores.  Given the success of our shared service model on the four campuses throughout the University of Missouri System, we feel that this “fan store” model could be replicated throughout the state.   Mizzou excitement is at an all-time high and we intend to monitor the performance of the Mizzou Store in St. Louis to gauge our next steps.  In the short term, a series of grand opening events are scheduled as a lead-in to Homecoming festivities in October.

We welcome our ICBA colleagues to stop in if you are flying through St. Louis and visit the Mizzou Store! 

Written by Guest Blogger, Dr. Jeff Zeilenga, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, University of Missouri