Consumer spending rose in January to the biggest increase in more than two years, helped by wage gains. January is traditionally a slow month for Phillip Rollins, owner of Offbeat, a music and comic book store in Jackson, Mississippi. But in February, Rollins saw sales spike as customers asked for “that record” for Valentine’s Day gifts.
Rollins is focusing on a new strategy for his business: attracting more college students to the store by offering them a place to hang out and be part of a community.
“There’s a huge disconnect between college students and businesses,” Rollins said, “and a lot of college students really think there’s nothing to do or the city has nothing to offer, which is not true at all .”
So Rollins turned to college students for help. He has enlisted a group of students to act as influencers for the store. They bring their friends and advertise the events through social media.
“We started doing events again, to help get customers into the store more,” Rollins added. “And [we have] I’ve worked with record labels for artists like Paramore and Gorillaz to organize listening and album release events.”
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