Stores gearing up for rush, Bid Day

Published 8:38 am Thursday, September 3, 2015

While Ole Miss freshman girls await recruitment this October, local boutiques are working behind the scenes to ensure rushees receive good luck and bid day goodies along the way.

Stores like Olive Juice Gifts, Katherine Beck Designs, Oxford Floral, Mimosa Flowers and Gifts, The Lily Pad and Pink and Proper already have been taking orders for “rush week happys” and bid day baskets. Baskets are ordered by parents, grandparents, aunts and friends who want to wish the girls good luck during the recruitment process and congratulate them with sorority merchandise after they receive their bids on Oct. 4.

Good luck packages include non-Greek items and are delivered to rushees at their dorms during the week of recruitment, while bid day baskets are filled with Greek merchandise and delivered to each sorority house on bid day. Most boutiques offer custom baskets that allow parents to give the store a price point, which guides sales associates to items that can be added into a rushee’s basket.

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Emily Grebitus with Oxford Floral said they started receiving bid day orders in July and said price points and the number of baskets customers order vary.

“Most of the baskets are about $75 to $100 for larger baskets, and smaller baskets are typically about $30 to $50,” she said. “But it depends, if they are doing baskets for the whole week they’re not going to spend $75 every day.”

On bid day, Oxford Floral prepares baskets by setting up tables for each sorority and filling them with items after the bid list is distributed.

Olive Juice Gifts will receive its shipment of Greek merchandise next week, and offers merchandise made from local and nearby vendors. The store provides rush and bid day baskets and is also open on bid day for last-minute shoppers.

The boutique takes orders for baskets anywhere from $15 to $300 and sells three-fourths of its Greek merchandise on bid day. Owner Erin Briscoe said the store ensures parents get their money’s worth by providing items that girls can keep throughout their college career and “splurging” on gift wrap.

Briscoe also said bid day could get a little crazy in the store.

“You have to get it down to a science,” she said. “We get the bid list as soon as the girls find out and make the baskets in the back while the store is open. We’re here from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., sometimes 10 p.m. “We’re really excited. It’s definitely our busiest day of the entire year, right up there with Double Decker.”

Mary Katherine Phillips, owner of Katherine Beck Designs, started taking preorders for baskets in June, and mentioned that knowing how much merchandise to order for bid day and recruitment could be difficult. Phillips started researching different vendors and attending spirit shows, which are for collegiate merchandise, in January. Because of high demand, Katherine Beck will continue to order merchandise up until bid day.

“We’ve been doing this since we opened, but this will probably be our biggest year,” Phillips said. “We are very excited about it.” Katherine Beck has a selection of shirts and koozies with gold foil, pillows, sorority confetti poppers, bags, jewelry, necklaces and synthetic turf doormats.