- The Washington Times - Friday, April 20, 2007

Caps, shirts, flags and other merchandise featuring the Virginia Tech logo have been hot sellers in the last few days as people across the country seek to show support for those affected by this week’s deadly campus shooting.

Retailers are working feverishly to keep items in stock and fill orders, many of which came from areas outside Virginia and even the United States.

“In addition to the students and parents and fans coming into our store, we’re also selling merchandise worldwide to people looking to show their support,” said Steve Glosh, assistant director of Virginia Tech Services Inc., which operates two official university bookstores in Blacksburg and one at the school’s Falls Church campus. “It’s been really touching.”

Online retailers, including HokiePlanet.com, are reporting unparalleled sales. Auction site EBay displayed more than 750 items tied to the search term “Virginia Tech” and more than 450 items relating to “Hokies,” but few sellers mentioned the tragedy in descriptions of their products.

Many sellers were complying with requests for overnight shipping so that supporters could wear Virginia Tech colors during today’s national “Orange and Maroon Effect Day.”

“We’re keeping up with most orders, but it’s unusual this time of year to have this level of support,” Glosh said. He said many bookstore employees are students, some of whom have gone home or have been distracted because of the tragedy. Staff from other departments have been shifted over to help fill orders.

Glosh said the top selling items include clothing and flags featuring the Virginia Tech logo. Many supporters are also purchasing medallions that were created several years ago to honor alumni of the school’s Corps of Cadets now serving as part of the nation’s war or terrorism. Sophomore Cadet Matthew La Porte was among those killed Monday.

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