Retail Sales Unshaken by Virginia Earthquake

Retailers in the Virginia area told Footwear News their businesses weren’t rattled by the 5.8-magnitude earthquake that swept through the East Coast on Tuesday afternoon.

The stores reported no physical damage, and some even credited the quake for a boost in foot traffic.

“There was no real impact to our store, except for some [products] falling off displays,” Mary Ashton-Burg, store manager of boutique Eloise in Charlottesville, Va., said a few hours after the earthquake. “If anything, it’s been the topic of conversation for every customer who’s walked in.”

The manager added that Eloise saw more customers than usual on Tuesday, due to offices in the area closing early.  “People are getting out of work early and they want to shop,” Ashton-Burg said.

Also in Charlottesville, roughly 30 miles away from the earthquake’s epicenter, Scarpa owner Amy Gardner said it was business as usual, despite some trembling. “It was pretty much a non-event in our store,” she said.  “I actually closed three sales in the middle of it.”

Abigail Hopkins, store manager of Shoe Hive in Alexandria, Va., also doubted that the earthquake would keep shoppers away.  “There were actually more people walking the streets after the earthquake hit,” Hopkins said.  “I don’t think it’ll have a negative impact on sales at all.”

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