October is a busy month for the city of Tallahassee and local businesses. Florida State and Florida A&M University’s Homecoming weeks are two main reasons why. Although FAMU’s Homecoming has recently passed, the season is not over as FSU’s Homecoming is here.
Homecoming season means an influx of customer traffic for many local businesses in the college town area. Students, alumni, boosters and even visitors are looking to satisfy their homecoming needs. This may include finding convenient restaurants, shops or grooming throughout the month.
For A.P.B., homecoming means more foot traffic in the store. It is the only commercial urban street wear shop in the city and they are able to get their time in the sun during this season.
“When homecoming comes, between FSU and FAMU, we are the number one store in our company for that week. So when it comes to numbers we are always doubling our sales, we’re always doubling our last year’s numbers. I know this year I want to say I was around 30% to 40% higher than my last year’s numbers,” said store manager Lunden Austin.
Austin also says A.P.B. has stores in cities across the nation such as Atlanta, Tampa, and Houston however, during this season the Tallahassee store comes out on top in sales beating those cities out.
Full Press Apparel is a local business that offers screen printing, custom embroidery, promotional gifts and branding/design services. The company works with a lot of FSU organizations and academic departments to create t-shirts and other decorative apparel for homecoming events.
“Differences wise, we work with a lot of FAMU organizations as well that prepare for FAMU Homecoming so them and making sure that the Marching 100 is getting all the stuff that they need for homecoming and in the same respect the FSU Marching Chiefs for homecoming too,” said Full Press campus manager, Jennah London.
Lance Mitchell is the research director at the Tallahassee Economic Index. He says that determining the success of a homecoming season is typically based on the amount of people who are actually traveling in for the festivities.
“Your swing people that are coming from out of town are going to be most of that revenue. The people who already live here are more or less already baked into the results” said Mitchell.
This is because this number is dependent upon the condition of the school during that time which is likely to sway people to come. An example of this could be whether the school’s football team is doing well or not.
“I will say though this year I think FAMU is more on the upswing for their football team and they probably are going to have more people coming into town than they did in the prior last few seasons versus when we look at FSU this year and they are on the down-swing,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell also says another time of the year where we get this influx of people is when the state legislature is in session. People are also coming from out of town and spending a lot of money on restaurants and lodging but, not on the same scale.