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Mar 29, 2005
DFW, Texas
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Has anyone had any success (or failure!) stories about doing t-shirts for your coffee shop? Not necessarily just for employees, but to sell to customers as well? Do people want to walk around in a coffee shop tshirt? I mean, you buy band tshirts to support your favorite local bands and whatnot, why not to support your favorite local coffee shop? Plus, it's something Starbucks doesn't offer... which might be a plus.
sigh....I have to admit that I have at least 15 coffee related shirts...I dont really see someone who is not in the biz wearing a coffee shirt...I mean I have seen some people wearing those cheezy ones they sell in target...the people who wear those are the same ones with Garfield coffee mugs saying not a morning person :roll:
We plan to open in June, and all I hear from the high school students and others in town is "Are you going to have t-shirts? You HAVE to sell t-shirts!" Maybe the difference in demand is my very small southern town and the fact that this will be the first coffeehouse around.....so I do plan to sell t-shirts with my logo - which is quite cool thank to Javatees....have a great weekend.
maybe some cheapo give aways at first to promote.

how about getting some local High school to participate in a t shirt art contest, then put the 3 best on a limited number and then you get community involvement points. if you like the idea, and do it then send a press release to the local paper try to get them to show up at an awards presentation.
t-shirt woes

I had better luck selling mugs w/our logo on them w/ a discount for bringing in said mug. Saves you on paper costs and is better advertisement because people us the mug every day and plop it down on their desk...they only wear the shirt about once every two weeks...with the exception of filthy customers that never shower and stink up your shop who you don't want advertising you brew anyway. There are some great ones out there...some glow in the dark some change color when heat is added etc.
Selling T-Shirts In Our Coffeehouse

We have decided to take a chance on having T-shirts in our coffeehouse. We have had them now for about a week+, and have already sold one and presold 2 others, as well as having a few others that would buy one in a size that we currently don't have. Ours have an interesting saying on them, along with our coffeehouse name. I don't expect to sell a ton of them, but they are unique, as only one of the other coffeeshops in a 30 mile radius is doing this, and they have something different on theirs.

I agree with Equus007 that selling travel mugs/cups with your logo on them would be more effective marketing, but only to the person that has it and the very few people that would see the logo on the mug. A T-shirt, however, is much easier for the masses to read, and has the potential to get more people into your shop that might not have otherwise; the mug with your logo will simply help to remind that one customer to continue coming back to your shop. In this respect, both are good marketing ideas.
We are almost out of the shirts we ordered. We bought for $8, sell for $12. I ordered 6 different colors - five of each size - and have maybe 4 YL, and 4 AS left. Have multiple requests for YM, and even a 4X. Would not recommend getting too many larger sizes though....
While not exactly apples to apples, I can give you my experiences with t's in my video stores. I'm just breaking into the coffee biz but I spent 15 yrs retailing video. We we're never successful selling t's or for that matter anything that wasn't directly video, like, well. a video. People came into our stores for videos, I betting it won't be much different at the coffee shop.
But we we're able to give away t's like crazy. It was always are best advertising/promotional vehicle. The t's were popular with the H.S. and Jr. college kids. We had different shirts made up all the time in small lots and just gave them away. One of my clerks was in the band another was an athlete they passed t's out to friends. The shirts would have a current movie, pro team, game character like Sonic or Mario and our logo or some other combination, we tried every thing. People loved them. It wasn't unusual to go to a local event and see 3 or 4 people wearing one of our t's - all different styles