Just when you thought it was safe to pack your snow boots away, winter storm Sylar is readying to hit parts of the mid-Atlantic into coastal New England.
While many area residents are still heading to The Home Depot in search of a last minute shovel purchase, others are convinced the warmer weather is just around the corner and ready to buy sandals.
At Benton Shoe Co., Manchester, N.H., manager Pattie Madore, said spring merchandise is selling. [Customers] are buying everything,” she noted. “I have sold a lot of sandal,” adding these purchases might be for vacations rather than local wear.
David Zegel, owner of Shoe Emporium in Patchogue, N.Y., said spring sales had kicked in until the last nor’easter pounhed the region. “We were starting to get a nice roll until the last storm hit,” he said. “It was starting to get into the ‘50s, but when the last storm hit it killed things a little. The same is [happening] with this storm. It’s taken peoples’ attention off spring and buying new stuff,”
To combat the unpredictable weather patterns over the recent past, Zegel has been bringing new merchandise in on a more regular basis rather than all at once.”Instead of having everything come in Feb. 15 or March 1, I try to bring in a few items in December, January, February. It also spreads out the bills nicely.”
Like Zegel, Lauren Berk, owner, Berk’s Shoes and Clothing in Providence, R.I., has been spacing out deliveries of spring goods. Over the past four or five years the weather in February and March has been brutal, she noted. “We did not starting to take in sandals until April,” she said. “Buy now wear now. That’s how we’ve been buying.” While January and February have been tough months for shoe sales, she said there have been increases in March, with consumers buying fall and winter clearance in addition to well-priced spring goods.
At David’s Shoes on First in Cambridge, Mass., owner Robert Valway buys merchandise closer to the season to meet consumer demand fueled by changes in weather. “We don’t pre-buy too much,” he explained. “We buy on a weekly and monthly basis. We let the customer and weather dictate the merchandise we are carrying.”
According to Valway, there’s plenty of merchandise available from businesses throughout the season. “We also carry brands we can special order and have delivered the next days,” he added.
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