Retailers Weigh In on the Heat Wave

David Zaken, owner, David Z. in New York
How has heat affected business? It does affect [business], because it affects every human being, and traffic is a little light. Nobody is really looking for new shoes unless you must have it. Most people would rather be at the beach today or next to a pool. You can see it on the [customers’] faces. It’s tough; we’ve definitely experienced a little slowness in the business.

David Sugg, buyer, Shirise Women’s Shoes and Accessories in Glencoe, Ill.
How has heat affected business? We’re still a destination shop; they’re still coming to us. At least we have the air conditioning running full blast. We complain — it’s too cold, it’s too hot. But this is also Chicago, and we’re right by the lake. Ten minutes ago a fog came in and it was a cold mist, and now there’s nothing.

Jeff Langner, CEO, Morgan’s Shoes in Madison, Wis.
How has heat affected business? We’re in a shopping center, so I think it slows things down a little bit. But I think in a way, versus a street store, it gives you a place to go and not sweat. It’s 90-something degrees and it feels like a hundred-something with the humidity, and after the asphalt heats up it just starts to cook.

JoAnn Winter, manager, Laurie’s Shoe Center in St. Louis, Mo.
How has heat affected business? Who knows with today’s weather? It’s been one of the most unbelievable years since I’ve been in the business. On the weekends, due to the weather, in the afternoon it has really slowed down. People are either home or in the pool. If it’s 70 degrees and there’s no humidity, everybody is happy and wants shoes. [But when] you’ve got 100 degrees, nobody wants anything.

Steve Silver, owner, Next in Cleveland
How has heat affected business? It’s really hot, but it hasn’t really affected us; our business has been pretty strong. We’ve got a lot of canvas [shoes] on the [selling] floor. A couple of our stores are mall-based so sometimes customers go in to escape the heat. If you’ve got a lot of preseason boots on the floor, which we don’t, that might hurt you. But I haven’t been in the store; I’m hiding out in my office.

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