Lope Shop’s new era fits it to a T — and more
Story by Laurie Merrill
Photos by Darryl Webb
GCU News Bureau
It’s not mostly T-shirts anymore.
When the Lope Shop at Grand Canyon University’s Prescott Hall opens for the first time this week, it will signal more than the sale of a completely new generation of merchandise in a spacious, contemporary space on Lopes Way.
It also will be significant because this year, GCU owns and operates the shop, which means every dollar stays on campus, said Andy Dunn, Lope Shops director.
“This is the launch of a new era,” Dunn said. “We are now 100 percent here to serve our students and staff and guests.”
When it opens, the purple Lope Shop sign outside and mannequins wearing GCU garb inside will help beckon shoppers to enter the shop.
“We have a brand new store with a modern industrial look and feel,” Dunn said. “To go along with that is a brand new selection of GCU merchandise.”
More than 1,200 individual items will be for sale in the 1,500-square-foot shop. There are hoodies, T-shirts and lanyards galore, to be sure, but there also are items never before sold at a GCU campus store.
“Ninety-nine percent of the merchandise is new,” said Shelly Schrimpf, Lope Shops operations manager.
There’s a wall of pet items with white and purple “GCU Love” leashes, gray and camouflage doggie outfits, purple portable water bowls, pet bandanas and more.
Nearby is a kids’ wall brimming with swag for infants to children’s size 8, such as onesies, baby bibs, beanies, cheer and basketball outfits, and such novelties as little stuffed teddy bears and pink-eared bunny rabbits bedecked in purple tops.
Dunn reached out to college deans to ask what students needed. The result is walls filled with school supplies, including art materials, lab coats, goggles, pens and pencils, backpacks and more.
Throughout the shop, merchandise bearing the sleek Lopes logo abounds. Shoppers can purchase such items as GCU banners, bath towels, “Fear the Lope” water bottles, coffee mugs, hats, sunglasses and playing cards.
When the store opens, managers hope to match the $25,000 in sales the Team Shop, located at GCU Arena, raked in the first day of Welcome Week. The Team Shop, also University owned and run this year, rang up $92,000 in sales the first week, Schrimpf said.
The Team Shop’s biggest seller on Day 1 was the hooded sweatshirt, Schrimpf said.
What will the biggest seller in the Lope Shop be on its opening day? “Notebooks,” she predicted.
Contact Laurie Merrill at 602-639-6511 or firstname.lastname@example.org.