The Oxford Eagle
Ole Miss Rebel fans can purchase a variety of apparel and memorabilia at Rebel Rags.
“Nike, Under Amour and Columbia are our three largest brands we sell,” said Samantha Holland, Rebel Rags manager, “as well as Spirit Jerseys for women and a whole lot of T-shirts for everyone.”
The size of Rebel Rags is one of the store’s key competition aspects.
“We currently have 21 sales associates and five managers,” Holland said. “We got approved last week for the expansion of the store, so we will be expanding the store by an additional 7,000 or 8,000 square feet.”
Rebel Rags constantly receives new shipments.
“The largest shipment we’ve gotten in was on a Tuesday, where we had five 18-wheelers, a UPS truck, and a FedEx truck all full of shipment,” Holland said. “There were 500 to 600 boxes that day.”
Store owners keep up with the latest trends and pay attention to customer preferences.
“Our owner makes all of the final decisions, but there are two managers that sit in each of the meetings about new merchandise who greatly influence his decisions,” said Holland. “The two are on the floor a lot more to see what everyone likes and relate easily to the customer trends because of closeness in age.”
Keeping up with current trends allows customers to anticipate new arrivals, but Rebel Rags does not change everything with each new order.
“We do a lot of re-ordering, but each of the vendors come into town to show us the new additions to their lines, and we pick those up as well,” she said.
The amount of money the store bring sin depends on the sports season.
“Our busiest time of the year is football season, followed by baseball season because these sports have the largest traveling fan bases,” said Holland.
Seasons are not the only things that affect Rebel Rags’ daily sales. Whether Ole Miss has a home game or an away game also impacts how much they sell.
“If there is a home game, our sales are going to be a lot higher than if it is an away game,” Holland said. “On away game week days, generally the store does between $10,000 and $12,000, but home game week days can generate up to a couple hundred thousand.”
The football team’s record also impacts sales at Rebel Rags.
“The better the teams do, the better our sales are without a doubt,” said Holland. “Last year, during the Alabama home game when we beat them, our sales on Friday were $150,000. On Saturday, they were $130,000, and on Sunday, we did another $100,000.”
The store focuses on many different sports that are played at the university, but football sells the most.
“We have three jerseys, in particular, that sell more than the others because of the people that have played here in the past and worn those numbers. The jerseys are numbers 10, 18 and 38,” said Kelsey Russell, a Rebel Rags sales associate.
Rebel Rags also sells through their website. “Majority of our online customers come from people in other states,” Russell said. “Rebel fans are everywhere, and everyone wants to show their support for them.”
Many customers who come into Rebel Rags are fans in town for a college tour or a big sporting event, but the local college students and Oxford natives also frequently shop here.
“Christmastime is when we have the largest number of local shoppers because they’re getting Rebel gear for their family members, who may not be able to access as large of a selection,” said Russell.
Rebel Rags is not the only store of its kind in Oxford.
“Campus Book Mart, Rebel Locker Room, and anywhere else advertised as mostly Ole Miss are Rebel Rags biggest competitors,” said Holland.
Rebel Rags competitors push the store to worker harder. Employees consistently work hard to make sure customers are always satisfied.
People who work there appreciate the Ole Miss community and the support they give the Rebels.
“The best part about working here is the co-workers and managers,” Russell said. “It is also cool when you are an Ole Miss fan, and you get to see all of the fans’ eyes light up when they walk in the store.”