Hurricane Sandy: The Aftermath

In the wake of the hurricane, footwear players on Tuesday weighed in on the impact of the storm:

Jim Sluzewski
SVP, corporate communications and external affairs, Macy’s Inc.

“Our stores and offices in New York and Central/Northern New Jersey remain closed today (as they were yesterday). Stores in other parts of the East Coast, such as those in the Washington, D.C., area, have begun to reopen. The determining factor is if the store and shopping center have electricity, and if associates are able to get to work. We continue to closely monitor the situation location-by-location, with the safety of customers and associates being the top priority. We have no reports of any significant damage nor of any injuries to associates. It is impossible to estimate lost sales or business impact until we know how many stores will be open/closed and the timing of reopenings.”

Ginger Reeder
VP,  Corporate Communications, Neiman Marcus Group Services

“We have had no reports of damage at this time. Bergdorf Goodman remains closed today, as will our Neiman Marcus stores in Short Hills and Paramus, N.J., and Westchester County. Our two stores in Washington, D.C., closed yesterday, will open at noon. The King of Prussia, Pa., location, closed yesterday, will open at 1 p.m. Nine Last Call stores were closed yesterday, four remain closed today. We cannot predict what effect this will have on business long term.”

Jessica Deede
Spokesperson, Target Corp.

“The safety of our team remains a top concern for Target. We will reopen stores when it is determined safe to do so and transportation restrictions are lifted. Our goal is to reopen and replenish our stores as quickly as possible to ensure our guests have access to essential items. Target has currently reopened more than 150 stores across the East Coast and we are in the process of assessing the storm’s impact on our facilities. Currently nearly 30 stores remain closed; however, we anticipate more to reopen in the next few days. In addition, we are monitoring road conditions and working with our distribution centers and vendors to ensure product can ship to open stores.”

Joey Thomas
Media relations manager, JCPenney

“We’re still assessing any potential damage incurred at many locations, including our Manhattan store. However, we anticipate that approximately 50 of our stores will be reopening over the next couple of days. Each store has a specific set of circumstances, and ensuring safe accessibility by team members and customers is our top concern. We’re continuing to monitor the storm’s effects and will take action as appropriate.”

Dianna Boyce
Spokeswoman, Finish Line Inc.

“With the utmost concern for employees, stores in several areas closed as early as Sunday afternoon. On Monday, we had stores closed in nine states and the District of Columbia. Public safety is the most important element as stores reopen and we need to ensure guidelines or orders from official personnel are being followed. Many of our stores have reopened today and we expect more stores to reopen Wednesday. At this point, we have every indication that our employees and stores weathered the storm safely with no injuries or structural damage reported.”

Bethany Hawley
Spokeswoman, REI

“We have stores and employees along the entire East Coast. We are happy to share that we have no reports of injuries to any employees. In the New York tri-state area, as of now, our stores in Yonkers and Carle Place, N.Y., plan to open their doors this afternoon. Other stores are working to assess their situation and will open as soon as is safely possible, some potentially this afternoon. … All tri-state area stores were open for a few hours yesterday to help customers prepare for the hurricane and purchase emergency preparedness items. Our distribution center in Bedford, Pa., is operating and working as quickly as possible to replenish the store’s supplies in these areas.”
Billy Lawson
Owner, Shoe Inn

“Our Long Branch, N.J., store, near the boardwalk, had minor damage, unlike the boardwalk, which was destroyed. Our Hamptons stores fared without any damage. All eight stores have been closed since Sunday, [and we are] hoping for most to reopen Wednesday. Long Branch probably[will be] closed for the balance of the week. We currently have no power in East or Westhampton, N.Y.; Westport, Conn.; [and] Englewood, Ridgewood and Long Branch, N.J. We didn’t need this on top of a challenging season.”

Lee Silverman
Owner, Jack Rabbit Sports, New York

“Our stores appear to be OK.  There is no power in our 14th Street store, and we have a motorized gate, so we can’t check the basement, but from what we can see in the windows, it looks OK. Our Brooklyn, Upper West Side and Upper East Side stores are open today and have no damage.

Todd Kirssin
DMM of footwear, Downtown Locker Room, Baltimore

“About 60 percent of the chain was closed yesterday. A few malls are still closed today, but most will open up early afternoon today. We’ll see if there is any pent-up demand out there this week with people hunkered down for the past 24 to 36 hours.  The last calendar week of October is usually one of the slowest anyway with Halloween. We’ll see what kind of business the first of the month brings.”

Erika Vala
Co-owner, Shoe Market and Mini Market, Brooklyn, N.Y.

“We have been really lucky and have [had] no specific damages at either store. We lost a day of business, as did everyone else, [but] overall we were very lucky. At Shoe Market, our sales of rubber boots have definitely been up.”

Maurice Breton
Owner, Comfort One Shoes

“We’re fine. Today, we have all but three of our [23] stores open, and those that aren’t open are in malls that aren’t open. We had some late openings, but we’re here to serve the public. … But there still is concern. The problem is that rivers rise after the storms as the water flows down from higher ground. So there [are worries], but we’re fortunate.”

Matt Priest
President, Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America

 “[In the Washington, D.C., area], there are tons of trees down and hundreds of secondary roads that are under water, but I don’t think it’s nearly as dramatic as areas closer to the coast, like New York. Anytime there is a storm as disruptive as this, it’s a concern [for business]. I think that once we get through this initial phase and the storm is fully gone, we’ll be able to survey the damage to stores and the ability of consumers to get out to shop. Right now, though, we have to be worried about people’s safety.”

Frank Gibbons
Buyer, Sams Outdoor Outfitters, Brattleboro, Vt.

“The negative effects have been few and far between this time around [compared with Irene]. There was rain and high winds that amounted to sporadic power outages. We are very grateful to have been spared this time around, and mostly our thoughts are with the people suffering in the coastal communities that seem to have been most directly affected.”

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