Snowstorm Ramps Up Boot Sales

The unseasonable snowstorm in the Northeast this past weekend proved to be a boost for retailers.

Shopowners in New York and New Jersey reported that the rare and unexpected snowfall in October helped move winter boots. “This storm came out of nowhere,” said Lester Wasserman, owner of West in Manhattan. “It gave people a reason to shop because they needed something for the snow.”

Sales for West this past weekend were better than any other in October, Wasserman added.

Daniel Kahalani, president of Brooklyn, N.Y.-based DNA Footwear, also reported that the unexpectedness of the northeaster gave sales a shot in the arm. “Customers weren’t prepared for this type of weather, but we were,” he said, adding that waterproof styles by Hunter, Sorel and Kamik were hot items.

Roz Viemeister, owner of Shoofly, said the storm helped her move winter accessories such as hats and mittens, along with waterproof boots from Naturino. “New Yorkers are very reactionary shoppers,” she said.

Across the Hudson River, in Englewood, N.J., Little Steps owner Denny Cassel said business at his store was a “bonanza” over the weekend, although many residents in town, including him, were without electricity at home. 

Nearly 3 million households along the East Coast had power outages as of Sunday night, according to electric and gas company PSE&G.

Cassel noted that the blackouts caused schools in the area to close on Monday, which consequentially also enhanced business.

“The kids who’ve been waiting for December or January to buy boots are buying them now, so it’s been a plus,” he said. “This is exactly what we needed to give a boost to our inventory.”

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