Final home game of 2022 season, Black Friday draw big crowds to Chapel Hill businesses

Michael Perchick Image
Friday, November 25, 2022
Chapel Hill businesses see green on Black Friday, UNC home game day
Fans lined Franklin Street Friday afternoon ahead of the NC State at UNC regular season finale, as businesses took advantage of the big crowds.

Fans lined Franklin Street Friday afternoon ahead of the NC State at UNC regular season finale, as businesses took advantage of the big crowds.

"We do something like 17% of our annual business on six home football (games). They are of paramount importance to us. And it brings in alumni, it brings in parents of kids, it brings in folks who have not been exposed to what we offer," said famed designer Alex Julian, who owns Julian's with his wife Meagan.

Julian's parents founded the business in 1942, with Alex referring to Franklin Street as "the heart of Chapel Hill."

"Getting dressed is still an opportunity for self-expression. It doesn't have to be extreme to be effective. There's a lot more freedom for men to dress more casually today, but there's still something special about the aura that you get when you dress well and people notice that. When you look good, you feel good," said Julian, who is well-known for his work on UNC's basketball jerseys.

The boutique sells men's and women's clothing.

"People call this Black Friday. I know I'm wearing a black jacket. But I say it's a very colorful Friday myself," said Julian.

Down the block, Holly Dedmond, store manager of Chapel Hill Sportswear, came in on Thanksgiving to prepare for the Friday rush.

"When you combine the busiest shopping day of the year and a home football game, of course that brings a lot of people out," said Dedmond, who added their busiest days annually are football games.

She said supply chain issues have improved, though with workforce largely comprised of students, many of whom are out of town for the holiday weekend, Dedmond had to get creative to ensure coverage.

"I'm on a shoestring staff today, I've called in people who haven't worked for me in years to just help out today," Dedmond explained.

Despite that, customers flowed in and out, as staffers worked to keep shelves stocked.

"Plenty of holiday shopping. The kids love all the UNC merch, so making some purchases to put under the tree," said Carla Schoonover, who was visiting Chapel Hill with her family.

The 3:30 kickoff was also a plus for businesses, providing ample time for fans to visit pre-game.

"You do have the people who are coming into town, Chapel Hill to see their family that may only get to be here once or twice a year. So they're coming out. You do have the close proximity to State, so there are a lot of (divided households) around," Dedmond said.