Ole Miss spring break changes Oxford

Published 10:00 am Friday, March 8, 2024

By Ian Sparks

Ole Miss Journalism Student

The University of Mississippi’s spring break begins this weekend and that means students will be leaving Oxford in droves. 

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For locals, this can be a welcome break from the crowded restaurants, parking hassles and traffic tie-ups that usually occur throughout the school year.

But Oxford businesses may also notice an unwelcome drop in sales.

Jack Everett, store manager of the Starbucks on Jackson Avenue noted that breaks in the Ole Miss academic calendar are often responsible for a decent chunk of lost profit.

“We lose around 20% of our sales during that time frame. The biggest difference is usually there are less mobile orders, but more customers come in and enjoy their coffee in-store,” Everett said.

He also notes a change in the atmosphere inside the story.

“I think a lot more people are more interested in actually sitting in the café when there’s less people,” Everett said.

While the decline in profit isn’t ideal, the usual stress that comes with constant traffic during the school year can be overwhelming.

“It’s a lot less stressful, for sure. When students are here you can get up to 30 orders in a minute, so it can be chaotic,” Everett said.

Local shops, such as Katherine Beck, also notice a change during campus breaks. The boutique, located right on the corner of the Square, sells specialized merchandise for many of the sororities on campus, as well as general furnishings.

Annadale Franks works as a clerk at the store and noted that Oxford natives tend to express a sense of relief whenever students leave town.

“I feel like when the students clear out, that’s when you see the local and more families are out. We usually see a lot more older people during that time, whether it’s Spring Break, Christmas or just during the summer,” Franks said.

On the flip side, popular Spring Break destinations benefit greatly from the weeklong affair. According to data on the business research site globalEDGE, the average college student spends around $1,080 on Spring Break. That’s money those students won’t be spending in Oxford.