Gamecocks vs Eastern Illinois vendors eye financial comeback
Gamecock game days were quite different last year with limited capacity, which hurt local business. Now they’re excited to make up for lost time.
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Gamecock football season is officially in full swing and while fans were excited to relax and watch the game Saturday, local businesses were excited for the chance to hustle.
For The Mailbox, an apparel store based in West Columbia, they hope this year will be their comeback season.
The shop sets up a booth every game day outside of Williams-Brice Stadium. They sell t-shirts, hats, masks, and much more all with Gamecock logos and the University of South Carolina (USC) branding.
“We are here every home game, every single home game,” Brittney Paquette said while folding shirts.
While gearing up for the crowd early Saturday, Paquette said she thinks the business will be great this season.
“We’re expecting it to get really busy hopefully sometime soon since it’s the first game back and last year was awful because of COVID,” said Paquette.
With USC games at limited capacity last year, The Mailroom took a big hit financially.
“Nobody tailgated, so people didn’t shop, so we didn’t sell anything,” said Paquette.
The store estimates that last year, it made about a tenth of what it usually makes.
Paquette said that, like many small businesses, they thought about closing shop, but are hopeful this will be their comeback season.
“I don’t exactly know what’s going to happen with COVID this year but definitely feeling optimistic,” she said.
Her main goal for this season is to “sell lots of Gamecock stuff and have fun!”