As the snow slowly blankets campus and the radio stations begin to perpetually play “Jingle Bell Rock,” it’s apparent that the holiday season is quickly approaching. But because the last day of final exams this year is Dec. 23, many students are stuck on campus during the holiday shopping season.
LSA sophomore Jenna Bunnell said she will shop on campus. Since students will be busy preparing for exams, they will have less time to go far to shop for the holidays, said Bunnell.
“I will definitely be doing my shopping on campus because there are so many nice stores that are conveniently right down State Street,” Bunnell said, while browsing through Bivouac on State Street yesterday.
In addition to Bivouac, other shops like Van Boven and Urban Outfitters on State Street offer merchandise that can make holiday gifts.
While Bivouac offers merchandise for both women and men and various age groups, other stores have a narrower customer base, like Van Boven, which specializes in male merchandise.
“Many students will come here to buy their fathers or boyfriends a nice gift. But we don’t normally see that many student customers,” Van Boven manager Gary Clark said. “This year, we expect to see a lot more students around Christmas, simply because there will be more students on campus close to the holidays.”
Urban Outfitters employee Alexander Jurich said more students tend to shop for their friends at the store.
“It’s funny because people come in here claiming to buy gift for others, but they end up buying things for themselves,” Jurich said.
“It’s a one-to -two ratio. For example, a customer will purchase two gifts for a friend, but four gifts for themselves.”
As for the types of gifts available, employees at each store predict that clothing accessories will be the most popular purchase this year.
Bivouac this year is offering new accessories embroidered with Greek letters from various sororities. “I bet many students will come into our store to buy their sorority sisters a bracelet or necklace with their Greek letters on it,” Bivouac employee Anna Partyka said.
New items include not only jewelry, but also underwear, with Greek letters. Partyka said she thinks these new ‘Greek life’ items will be their best-selling merchandise this holiday season.
Employees at Urban Outfitters also foresee accessories as being popular gift items.
New drinking-related gifts and games have become common purchases among their student customers, employees said.
“Drinking games have become increasingly popular this year. A drinking game would make a fun gag gift for a friend,” Jurich said.