Retailers Lose Two of Their Biggest Days to Blizzard
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Despite mostly clear roads in and around the capital city, the mall had attracted very few visitors as of noon according to Gerry Nutini, a supervisor at Seattle’s Best café inside Borders. Nutini said it was a stark contrast to the post-holiday chaos he has experienced in previous years.
“It’s definitely as slow as it’s ever been in my four years working here,” Nutini said. “It’s surprising because everyone likes to use their gift cards in the days after Christmas. We usually have long lines but I guess the storm might have scared people away.”
Normally a huge shopping day
The rise in gift card use along with deeply discounted items is what usually makes the days following Christmas some the best shopping days of the year. According to ShopperTrak.com, the day after Christmas last year brought in $7.9 billion for retailers across the country, making Dec. 26 the second biggest shopping day of 2009. Moreover, other retail trackers claim that some retailers do 25 to 35 percent of their December sales this week. The lose of the Sunday the day after Christmas and a holiday Monday will not be made up.
Many stores were hoping this year would generate even more revenue with the economy starting to take a turn for the better, but concern over the blizzard limited sales on Sunday and the storm’s aftermath led many to stay inside on Monday. Store managers said they still weren’t sure exactly how much this year’s snow effected business, but agreed that it definitely had an impact.
“This storm wasn’t so bad”
Not everyone stayed clear of the mall on Monday. Amy Hotchkiss of North Providence braved the elements and headed to Providence Place with her daughter to continue what she called a tradition of post-Christmas shopping. She said a little bit of snow wasn’t enough to keep them away.
“This storm wasn’t so bad,” Hotchkiss said. “We sat inside while my husband and son shoveled the driveway so we could head to the mall. The roads weren’t slippery at all. I can’t believe there aren’t more people [in the mall]. These sales are too good to pass up.”
Late in the day, business picks up
Nutini said he still expected to see a crowd once people dug themselves out of the snow and realized it was safe to drive on the roads. By 4:00, he was right. A line had formed at Borders and business appeared to have picked up throughout the mall.
“I just had to get going,” 20 year old Karen Donovan of Providence said. “I slept in because of the snow, but I knew I’d be hitting the the mall at some point today. I wish I came earlier so I could beat the crowd.”
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