UT alumnus shares business success story

Alumni Hall owner Jeff Goodfriend spoke to business students on Tuesday.

On Saturdays in the fall, Vols wear orange. And a Knoxville-based store plays a large roll in creating the sea of orange that fills Neyland Stadium.

The Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity hosted Alumni Hall owner and UT graduate Jeff Goodfriend Tuesday, April 3 for a professional speaker event.

In 2006, Jimmy Dawahare opened the first Alumni Hall in Lexington, Kentucky. According to Goodfriend, Dawahare took the name “Alumni Hall” from the winner of a thoroughbred horse race.

Though founded in Lexington, the collegiate store found a home in Knoxville where the company finds its largest customer base. Goodfriend said Volunteer fans’ loyalty and passion keep sales alive despite a disappointing football season.

Niche identification remains his key to success. Goodfriend said the ability to recognize what fans like to wear to the football games and the ability to identify the most popular sports make or break a store’s success. For example, University of Kentucky basketball often proves more popular than its football team. Basketball apparel is more lucrative in that market.

Goodfriend worked for Goody’s, the store his grandfather founded in 1953, until his departure in 2007. His family sold the company in 2005. Goodfriend took over as owner of Alumni Hall when he joined the team.

Alumni Hall features popular clothing brands like Nike, Under Armor, Columbia, Adidas and other regional brands.

Alumni Hall now possesses 27 storefronts for almost 20 different universities. Alumni Hall offers products in six Tennessee locations: one store in Bristol, two locations in the Nashville region and three locations in Knoxville.