Wake Forest University will soon open the doors to its new Deacon Shop located “center court” in Hanes Mall in Winston-Salem. The shop is located on the main level between Belk and Kay Jewelers. Although the specific date remains contingent upon final construction, the opening is scheduled to occur before Wake Forest’s commencement on May 17.
The store concept is a partnership between Wake Forest University Stores and the university’s athletics department. According to Buz Moser, director of Wake Forest University Stores, few operations exist in the United States where a university owns and operates a store in a mall. But, Wake Forest and several other college bookstore industry leaders believe that this new approach is an opportunity for schools to become more accessible to their communities and fans.
“We’re listening to our customer base and reaching out to our new Demon Deacon fans,” said Moser. “Some people who want to shop with us have found it difficult to get to campus, and the fans need more access to what they want. This store will just be another reflection of our commitment to reaching out to our customers, fans and supporters and making them more a part of Wake Forest.”
Shoppers will experience a high-energy sight and sound experience when they enter the 2,400-square-foot shop. The store is designed to resemble an ESPN set.
Athletic events will be highlighted on seven television monitors placed throughout the store; athletic trophies and awards will be showcased; Wake Forest students and student-athletes will work the store, information on the university and its events will be available; and special events will be held throughout the athletic seasons.
“You can be sure any televised Wake Forest event will be on those TVs,” Moser said. “We’ll also have autograph days, booksignings, and special events for both athletic and non-athletic university events. We will definitely take advantage of our center court location.”
The Deacon Shop will carry classic Wake Forest merchandise, including men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, home and office furnishings, seasonal items, and more.
A week-long grand opening celebration is planned for late summer that will coincide with the return of Wake Forest students for the fall 2004 semester. The celebration will feature a series of events highlighting different aspects of Wake Forest athletics and other Wake Forest activities.
Construction and design of the store has been performed by local Winston-Salem companies: I.L. Long Construction Company, Stantec Architecture, and PAVE Advertising & Design. Overall project supervision and merchandizing has been provided by Alliance Display and Packaging. CBL Properties and local Hanes Mall management were also instrumental in making the endeavor possible.
For more information about the Deacon Shop, contact Mary Lou Brazeau at 336-758-3199.
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