Charlie’s has opened in downtown Vermillion at 2 E. Main St. The retail store, named after mascot Charlie Coyote, will be open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday, with extended hours planned during Dakota Days and other major events.

“The door was barely unlocked this morning before customers started arriving,” Tena Haraldson, USD director of marketing, said Thursday. “People have been so excited to have this shopping experience right here in Vermillion. The word is spreading fast.”

The marketing office also jointly runs Jack & Charlie’s in The Empire Mall in Sioux Falls with South Dakota State University. The addition of Charlie’s will give USD a place to sell unique items that are geared toward students, family members, alumni and fans who live in or visit Vermillion.

“We get a lot of requests for sizes that fit adults, along with gift items and things for kids and pets,” Haraldson said. “We also have a good selection of tailgate items, from tents and chairs to flags, coolers, drinkware and other decor.”

One thing Charlie’s won’t sell is books. Barnes & Noble remains the official bookstore of USD in the Muenster University Center. B&N also sells its own selection of USD clothing and other items.

Sales at B&N and at both Charlie’s stores will support USD student scholarships in two ways: through royalties on the USD logo and through store profits.

“We hope the expanded offerings will get more red USD clothing on our fans,” Haraldson said. “For us, every red USD T-shirt is a walking billboard advertising Coyote pride.”

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The Vermillion Area Chamber & Development Co. recently purchased the building, and USD’s marketing office rented about 3,400 square feet in the lower level.

Download an image: Charlie's in downtown Vermillion.

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