Fantastic stuffed animals and where to find them
~Anna Dorl, Editor-in-Chief~
~Ashley McMillan, Arts and Entertainment Editor~
In a chaotic age of much-needed comfort, Squishmallow hunting is the new activity for college students looking for an escape and cuddly new friends. Thanks to TikTok and other social media apps, these spherical stuffed animals have skyrocketed to popularity in the past few months, especially among Gen Z. Coming in various different themed collections such as barnyard animals, fruits and veggies, household pets, and mythical creatures, there’s a Squishmallow out there for just about anyone. Considering our professional experience on the matter, we figured we would create a guide on how to find your dream Squishes in the 757 and beyond area, at a fraction of the cost.
1. Make a list of all Squishmallow-stocked stores
Before you take out your car keys, take a look at the Retailers list off of the Squishmallow website. Squishmallows are not sold everywhere, as much as we would prefer otherwise. In the 757 area, Christopher Newport students and the general public collectively understand the “it” stops. Though, people tend to forget that stores like Kroger or Hallmark have Squishmallows in stock, so it’s important to keep in mind the “Retailers” list on the Squishmallow website. You never know what you may find, you may even stumble upon the popular brown and white cow, Ronnie. The other night, I had a Delta Gamma sister tell me that Harris Teeter (across Christopher Newport) finally got Squishmallows. For this delivery, the boxes were full of the 2021 spring line, so I was over the moon to find out that Ronnie the Cow was sitting there waiting for me, 10 minutes before close. I ran in my three-year-old birks from my East campus apartment to Harris Teeter, just for the sheer luck to get Ronnie, and it was worth it.
2. Call each store and ask if they have a diverse selection
After making your list, call the stores you have on your list and ask if they “typically stock Squishmallows.” By asking this question, you’ll get an understanding on if they’re a seller of the brand, even though they’re registered as a retailer on the official website. For instance, there are two Hallmark stores in the Newport News area, and only one of them stocks Squishmallows. The knowledge you will get from this process will allow you to save time when driving to the store in the first place. After asking them that first question, you can then ask “What type of Squishmallows do you have? Do you have the Spring line?” Typically those handling customer service will be accommodating and honestly cute, and reply with specific squishes they have in the store. If you feel comfortable with how the conversation is going, ask them one last question: “When do you get another shipment, if you don’t mind me asking?” I have never been lied to when I have asked this question, because honestly, most of those who work in the stores love to see college students run in and get excited over their favorites finally being in-stock… so it’s a win-win!
3. The Best Squishmallow Stores in the 757
Before you set out to find your dream Squishmallows, make a plan of action by compiling a list of the stores you should hit. Since Squishmallows are so popular (especially among college students), they might be sold out or in limited supply at the stores you want to visit. Luckily, there are a lot of different options to choose from – and hunting them down is half the fun. If you want to know before you go, make sure to check the Squishmallows website – squishmallows.com – and take a screenshot of the Retailers page to see where you can go. If not, be prepared to drive around aimlessly for a while until you get lucky. In the Newport News area, Squishmallows can usually be found at the Hallmark in Yorktown (about ten minutes from campus), Five Below (even closer to campus), and the several Walmart locations scattered around town.
With this simple guide, get a group of friends together (masked up, of course) and look for the Squishmallows of your dreams together. Happy hunting!