Downtown Chapel Hill

Downtown Blog

Johnny T-Shirt Celebrates 30 Years on Franklin Street

On Monday, August 26 Johnny T-shirt will be celebrating their 30th Anniversary here on East Franklin Street all day with birthday cake, activities, gifts with every purchase as well as a coupon with each purchase.

 A Brief History of Johnny T-shirt:

30 Years ago Johnny T-shirt opened their doors at their current location on East Franklin Street.  They even had a hand in creating the space they’re in!  When things started in the early 80’s Johnny T-shirt looked very different.  The original version of the store included a screen-printing shop doing custom work for community organizations.  In the late 80’s Johnny T-shirt started shifting focus toward being a pure UNC store dropping their screen-printing.

By 1994 Johnny T-shirt was producing a professional mail order catalog that is still available today.  In the early days phone operators for the catalog were housed right in the store! In 1995 Johnny T-shirt teamed up with the General Alumni Association and they remain their official catalog store helping UNC Alums remain tied in with the Chapel Hill community.  

Also starting in 1995 Johnny T-shirt joined the world wide web and in 1996 launched becoming one of the first places to buy UNC gear online.  At this point the shop, the online store, and the mail order operation were all running out their 1900 sqft space on East Franklin St.  

After this model proved to be hugely successful Johnny T-shirt built a 7,000 SQFT warehouse in Hillsborough in 1999 where they keep most of their stock as well as most of the business management.  Ten years later, they more than doubled the size of this building to a 15,000 SQFT warehouse to accommodate  the increasing demand for UNC merchandise.  

In the early 2000's Johnny T-shirt also teamed up with Inside Carolina to become their official online store.  

Whether you’re looking for a classic Carolina Arch shirt or new bumpers for your boat, Johnny T-shirt carries it.  At around 3,500 different items, there is probably the gift you’re looking for when you’re shopping for your UNC fan.

So stop in Johnny T-shirt on East Franklin and see why they’re a Downtown Classic as they look forward to their next 30 years!

Facebook - Twitter