Hobo Shop finds new home in bookstore


ALISON SIMON The Hobo Shop officially made its debut in the University Bookstore this year. It will now sell Hobo Day gear year-round and online.

Alison Simon

With Hobo Week upon us, you may have noticed an influx in Hobo Day gear in the front of the bookstore. This stems from a switch-up in the location of the Hobo Shoppe.

“We aren’t actually thinking of it as ‘it’s closing,’ we’re actually just moving,” said Grand Pooba Miranda Mack.

The shop has moved from its original location in a small space alongside Einstein Bros Bagels into a section of the bookstore.

The partnership will give SDSU students and alumni year-round access to merchandise featuring the traditional Hobo Day characters: Weary Wil and Dirty Lil.

“It means we can offer that stuff online because there are so many alums who don’t get here for Hobo Day,” Mack said.

The Hobo Shoppe first opened in 2012, but the move also resulted in a name change from the Hobo Shoppe to the Hobo Shop.

Each year, it opens in the weeks prior to homecoming. The store sells Hobo Day T-shirts, buttons, mugs, jewelry and other merchandise.

Matilyn Kerr, program adviser for university traditions, said moving the location of the shop maintains the feel while while revamping the overall look of the merchandise.

The Hobo Day Committee has been working with Kerr and Samantha Tutt, manager of retail operations at the bookstore, to ensure the Hobo Shop is successful and grows in its new location.

“It’s like when you are buying a home,” Kerr said. “You might have a dream home, but you have something that’s realistic that you work with.”

When the opportunity arose for the Hobo Shoppe to move into the bookstore, it was a welcomed transition for all parties involved.

“The way our customers have responded … this will be an entire year thing,” Tutt said.

The Weary Wil crewnecks are especially popular, and online sales have skyrocketed beyond Tutt’s expectations.

Tutt said sales have been logged from buyers all over the country, even as far away as Florida and Nevada.

The move of the Hobo Shoppe has given a great outlook for the future of the store, so students won’t have to worry about it closing any time soon.

“It’s still here,” Kerr said. “It’s just moved a little bit.”