As the Republican National Convention gets under way in Tampa, Fla., footwear retailers said they’ve yet to see a bump in sales from the increased number of visitors.
Retailers said they had expected the convention and influx of delegates, media, Republican supporters and protestors to boost sales, but storm and hurricane worries have, so far, thrown cold water on business.
“The threats and fears that there might be [a hurricane] coming kept people away,” said Deondra Patterson, manager at Traffic Shoes. “I expected the RNC to bring in business, but it has actually been pretty slow.”
Mara Perez, manager at Charlotte Russe, too, said business has been down. “Even last weekend was slow,” she said. “The weather has a lot to do with it.”
Perez added that a post-back-to-school slowdown is also coming into play. “That’s typically when business goes down for us,” she said.
Others said they didn’t expect much to change as the week unfolds. “I don’t think it’s going to have a high impact,” said the manager of a local chain store who asked not to be named. “But I don’t know what tomorrow brings.”