With AU students returning to campus for the 2017-18 school year, many are flocking to one of Anderson’s hidden gems. Unable to be found on Apple’s Maps app, this store literally flies under the radar.
The Big Sale, located at 2500 E. 10th St., offers athletic apparel at incredibly discounted rates. Hugh Cherry runs the day-to-day operations, but the store is technically his son’s.
Cherry’s son, Hugh Jr., works with BSN sports where he is the director of Lids Team Sports.
Lids Team Sports often is left with excess product that they are unable to sell. The Cherrys purchase the excess “by the truckload” and resell it in their store. Cherry describes their merchandise selection as “a hodge-podge of things.”
Coats, sweatpants, football helmets, cleats, back packs, SWAT boots, koozies and team flags are just a few of the items that can be found in the store. Lined jackets that can run upwards of $100 in many sporting goods stores can be found for $30 at the Big Sale. The most expensive item in the store, marketed as a “long coat,” costs only $40. Many of the accessories and apparel can be purchased for under $10.
Kylie Martindale, a senior at AU, was able to do some gift shopping at the Big Sale. She bought her boyfriend a long sleeve Nike Dri-FIT shirt and a Dri-FIT t-shirt. Martindale is a fan of the convenience that shopping at the Big Sale offers. “I am a college student trying to save money,” she said. “Being able to find a store with quality clothing at a reasonable price is very nice.”
The printed items in the store are often very unique and cannot be found elsewhere. Some of the clothing items available are excess products left over from some nearby high schools like Hamilton Southeastern and Center Grove. However, some of the items come from minor league baseball teams, out of state schools, small colleges or even athletic showcases.
The Big Sale currently has Nike Dri-FIT shirts in stock emblazoned with the Greeneville Astros logo. The Greeneville Astros are the Rookie level affiliate of the Houston Astros, playing in the Appalachian League. Finding Houston Astros apparel in Indiana, over 1,000 miles from where the Astros play, can be a difficult task. Tracking down a shirt from their Rookie level affiliate would be next to impossible, but the Big Sale makes that, along with apparel for many other unique teams, rather simple.
Many male students rave about their ability to cover their dorms, apartments or houses with sporting paraphernalia that may otherwise would have been difficult to get their hands on at an affordable price. Senior Cam Etzler was able to find some Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres accessories to use as decorations in his new home.
“Typically I cannot find accessories and decorations for my favorite teams around Anderson due to their distant locations,” Etzler explained. “Thanks to the Big Sale, I can get them here without having to order something online and pay the expensive shipping prices.”
Intramural Coordinator and Smith Hall Resident Director Rudy Lyon is a frequent customer. “I probably go to the Big Sale weekly,” said Lyon. “I definitely will not go more than two weeks between visits. If I have free time on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday, why not just pop in and peruse.”
As Lyon mentioned, the Big Sale does have unique hours. The business is only open Thursday-Saturday. Thursday and Friday the store is open from 12 to 7 p.m. while operations run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays. Cherry explained that come November, the store will have increased hours of operation for the holiday season.
Cherry and Lyon have built a relationship since the store’s grand opening last December. Lyon was looking for a way to benefit AU students and the intramural program, so he approached Cherry about a partnership of sorts. Cherry, already a supporter of AU as all students get a 10 percent discount, was fully onboard.
“We’ve had a great turnout from the students, no question about it,” said Cherry. He explained that the store has been at its busiest when students have been on-campus, while in-store traffic was much lighter in the summer.
They reached an agreement in which AU students will receive 25 percent off their purchase when buying five or more similar items to be used for intramurals. This discount will supersede the standard 10 percent discount students already receive. Lyon hopes this will promote intramural teams looking for uniforms for their games.
Marketing for the store has been exclusively via word of mouth. A Google search for “the Big Sale” brings back no results for the store, which also has no presence on social media. When students returned from Christmas break during the 2016-2017 school year, operations exploded as students flooded the doors, many of whom went on to become weekly visitors. Cherry said that the first group of students that came in returned later in the week, this time with even more friends. He added that many students come in with parents upon returning from breaks for some “back to school shopping.”
Eventually, word spread throughout campus about this local store stocked to the brim with incredibly affordable athletic apparel. Students began wearing shirts with logos of schools they had never previously known existed.
“I heard about The Big Sale from my roommate,” said Jake Kingery, a junior baseball player. “He came back with some Nike shirts after a trip there so I wanted to check it out. I love going in and looking for Nike t-shirts with random colleges that I have never heard of because of their style and affordability.”
As students resume their daily walks through the Valley and the Marketplace, look for a wide assortment of athletic teams to be represented and worn across campus, all thanks to the aptly named Big Sale.