Retailers Rate Holiday Shopping

With Christmas just days away, footwear retailers around the country are reporting mixed results for the all-important holiday season.

French Sole Comfort owner Randy Ochart said sales this month have been better than expected. “We’ve had a fairly strong increase, which I’m surprised about,” he said of his New York-based store. Ochart added that most of the business has been driven by non-cold weather items.

At Reyers Shoes in Sharon, Pa., co-owner Mark Jubelirer said business has been on par with last year, led by brands including Clarks and Pikolinos. Ugg Australia boots also have continued to see strong sell-throughs.

“[Ugg boots are] one of those hot items for Christmas, and they very well may be again next year,” Jubelirer said. “I’m not selling them in the quantity I used to, but generally there is not much that is selling in the same quantities as in the past.”

However, not all retailers are feeling the Christmas cheer. Saxon Shoes owner Gary Weiner said sales at his two stores in the Richmond, Va., area have been lower than anticipated this month, due in large part to the absence of wintry weather.

“A lot of the winter boot business hasn’t materialized yet,” Weiner said, adding that he is hoping sales will start to pick up in January. “It’s a nice piece of our business, and so far very little of that is happening.”

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