UNC Final Four gear fills shelves in Chapel Hill

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – The shirts found in window-fronts and store shelves along Franklin Street come in many sizes and designs, but just one color – Carolina Blue.

The Tar Heel’s upcoming trip to the Final Four is impacting staffing and sales at stores, including Johnny T-Shirt The Carolina Store.

“Today is, it’s hectic. It’s busy. But it’s very exciting,” said Davine Laster, retail division manager for the store.

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Rachel Peltzer, a UNC senior, said, “It’s a good time to be a Carolina fan.”

Tar Heel fans want Final Four gear after UNC’s dramatic Elite Eight finish, which 6-year-old fan Johnny Skowron recapped by saying, “It was good. They won.”

His family is in town from Massachusetts because his father is waiting on a transplant at a local hospital.

In their seven months in Chapel Hill, they’ve become Tar Heel fans.

“This is all new and a good experience for us,” said Johnny’s mother, Jenn.

They came to Johnny T-Shirt, which had Final Four shirts ready within hours after Sunday’s game.

“Management came in this morning and we got them in early this morning. I believe they were printed earlier, brought to our warehouse and then brought to us,” Laster said.

“I think it’s a cool thing to have. We’re seniors. Something to commerate it,” Peltzer said.

While she needed new clothes to build up to the big weekend basketball action, Peltzer’s game day attire might have to come from her existing wardrobe.

“I wore my ‘Get Into It’ shirt, the Jordan shirt we got at the Duke game this year, and I’m not a superstitious person, but I’m going to stick with it since I’ve worn it to all the games and we’ve won so far.”

Across the street, Underground Printing manager Elizabeth Flake spent Monday trying to keep up with demand.

“Right now, this is our best seller,” she said, pointing to a shirt with the Michael Jordan quote ‘The Ceiling is the Roof’ printed on it.

“That one’s huge for us right now. We literally cannot keep it in stock.”

Printers in Ann Arbor, Michigan sent her video of more shirts being printed and dried Monday morning.

Flake said she expects to sell thousands more shirts than if Carolina had not made it this far.

Final Four designs will be among the big sellers. She said a printer in South Carolina is handling those.

Flake expects more people to buy Final Four shirts this year than last because she thinks people are not focusing as much on the championship game after last year’s tough loss in the final game.

“This year, I think that last year humbled us a little bit, so people are starting to get their Final Four shirts because we’re embracing making it to the Final Four and we know that it’s going to tough,” she said.

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