Business was slow at A to Z International General Merchandise in Rock Hill until owner Iam Abdul Azizu Raheemu brought in Barack Obama.
Raheemu said new customers and sales picked up once he started selling Obama hats, calendars, T-shirts and wallets emblazoned with the president-elect's image.
"It's the only place I know of in Rock Hill to get Obama stuff," said patron Barak Shaabarz, who drove from Great Falls to buy shirts.
A to Z is one of several area businesses to join the national frenzy of retailers aiming to cash in on Obama's historic march to the White House.
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The boom includes street vendors, gift stores, barber shops, big-box retailers and online entrepreneurs.
That Obama will be the country's first black president is driving sales to "a whole different tier than Clinton or Bush or anybody," said Martin Brochstein, a senior vice president at the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association.
Cash registers are buzzing in the stretch before Tuesday's inauguration.
"It's almost like the opening of a big movie in that everything builds toward that opening day," Brochstein said. "Opening day here is called Inauguration Day."
Sarah Caldwell, owner of BB&C Copy Express in Chester, knows what he means.
In the past two days, Caldwell said, she's sold 80 of the $10 Obama calendars she designed. She plans to start selling bookmarks Saturday for $1 each.
Online retailers are hocking trinkets, too.
"Just put in 'Barack Obama,' and boy will you see the Web sites," said York County Democratic Party Chairman Jim Watkins, whose group is selling Obama calendars for $20.
Available merchandise ranges from the elegant -- The New Yorker magazine's $350 framed Nov. 17 cover depicting the Lincoln Memorial in the moon's glow -- to the zany: "I Kissed Barack" lipstick is available online.
"Anything with Barack on it is flying off the shelves," said Frederick Hogsett, owner of Smooth's Music, Books & Gifts in Lancaster, where patrons can find Obama hats, shirts, magnets and books.
The soon-to-be 44th U.S. president has earned a die-hard following.
"I'm an Obama nut," said Rock Hill resident Mattie Crawford Hunter. "I have flip-flops, signs, T-shirts, sweatshirts ... magazines ... bracelets. When I met him at Winthrop and he shook my hand ... that was the first time I got involved in any election."
Hunter said she bought most of her memorabilia online but picked up shirts in Rock Hill at Shabazz Barber & Styling Salon.
She plans to pass the collection to her niece.
"I'm pretty much collecting for the future generation," she said.