Not only are high profile Alabama games great for fans, they’re great for small business owners

Downtown Tuscaloosa

By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Sutton Smith

The University of Alabama welcomes the Texas Longhorns to Tuscaloosa this weekend as the two ranked teams battle it out Saturday night at 6.

While fans will be packed into Bryant-Denny Stadium and tailgating on the quad, many local small businesses in the downtown area of Tuscaloosa will keep their stores open for business.

One such business is clothing store Alabama Vintage. Manager Dru Pruitt, along with owner Charlie Nelson, are super excited for this upcoming weekend and other home football games throughout 2023.

“We get a ton of traffic in our store when Alabama hosts games; it’s such a positive weekend for our store,” Pruitt said. “We get to meet new people and we always have an increase in sales.”

Pruitt and Nelson both have experience working many big football weekends in Tuscaloosa. That experience prepares them for weekends like this one.

“In the past, we’ve made sure to order more apparel than any normal weekend,” Pruitt said. “It’s still the day before the game and we’ve already run out of some selections of hats. We’re so used to working these types of weekends in Tuscaloosa because there’s always big games happening here.”

Despite a surplus of customers on game-day weekends, Pruitt and Nelson are a two-man show running the store together.

Pruitt is excited to build relationships with new customers especially one’s from out-of-town.

“That’s what it’s all about, to meet new people and spread our name around,” Pruitt said.

Laura Boyd and Gracie Johnston of Palmer Clothing are also excited to welcome many new customers to their boutique shop in downtown Tuscaloosa during game weekends.

“While we hold Alabama colors, we also have many other colors of clothes to choose from that out-of-towners could pick from,” Boyd said. “Having customers from out-of-town also grows our online store so they can purchase things when they aren’t here in Tuscaloosa.”

Just like Alabama Vintage, Palmer Clothing also brings in more clothes to sell during the football season.

“We know there will be a lot more people in town, so we must prepare to keep up with the demand of customers,” Boyd said. “We usually keep our staple clothing year-round rather than just football clothes in the fall and spring clothes in the spring.”

Johnston and Boyd are both ready to make connections with potential customers during this upcoming weekend.

“I’m so excited to meet a bunch of new people from all over the place,” Johnston said. “I want to be able to show people new things especially our style here at Palmer Clothing and at the University of Alabama.”

Both Alabama Vintage and Palmer Clothing offers year round deals for their customers. Palmer Clothing offers a sale of 30% off on items in the upstairs section of their store. Alabama Vintage offers 15% off purchases of two or more items.

Categories: Community, Local News