This story has been updated to clarify the jurisdiction of the land where the Myrtle Beach Trump Store is located.
When the carnival closes, the Trump Stores open.
On Sept. 18, Marion County resident and carnival owner Katie Wilson opened up the Trump Store on Conway’s Main Street next to Donzelle’s Restaurant.
On Sunday, she opened up her other location in the Myrtle Beach area at 2115 Highway 501 in the building that used to house North American Title Loans.
(Technically, the building is in a small "doughnut hole" that includes a few parcels of land where the store is located, meaning that while the Trump Store is within Horry County's jurisdiction, the "doughnut hole" is surrounded on all sides by the city of Myrtle Beach and is impossible to access without traveling into and through the city of Myrtle Beach).
Wilson, a supporter of President Donald Trump, owns B&K Carnivals. But when COVID-19 put an end to large crowds, she had to figure out something else to do in the meantime.
“A bunch of my other carnival friends, this is what we came up with to make do while we’re not able to work,” Wilson said, adding that other carnival operators she works with are opening up stores in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and Panama City, Florida.
The store features Trump flags, face masks, snow globes, golf balls, posters, signs, and socks, to name a few, sourced from multiple suppliers around the Southeast. Flags and masks have been the best sellers, Wilson said.
“The main thing is flags,” she said. “A lot of people buy the flags.”
Sales have been decent at the Conway store, Wilson said, but she expects more customers once word gets out.
“I’m hoping that it picks up quite a bit when it starts catching on, because it’s so new and unique,” Wilson said. “But it’ll probably be another week before I expect a lot more traffic through there.”
Conway resident Carol Dotson, who left Philadelphia seven years ago for the warmer weather and lower taxes, paid a visit to the Conway store on Friday.
“I love it,” she said, complimenting the store’s selection, including a Women for Trump sign. “We like Trump, and somebody put it on Facebook that there was a Trump store.”
Wilson plans to stay open until a few days after the election. If Trump defeats Democrat Joe Biden, she said she might stay open the rest of November as well.
Dotson said she would come back after the election if she could.
“Trump is us,” Dotson said. “We love Trump.”
The store hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., except Sunday, when it's open from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.