Chilly Weather Leaves Retailers Out in the Cold

A cold Arctic blast sent temperatures into the deep freeze across much of the country this week, but footwear retailers said they’ve yet to see sales warm.

The National Weather Service on Wednesday said a cold weather system over the Midwest and Northeast was producing the coldest temperatures of the season, and sub-freezing temperatures were likely to continue for several days.

Still, icy temperatures were doing little to heat up sales.

Tarek Hassan, co-owner of Boston-based The Tannery, said cold temperatures without snow haven’t yet driven customers in to search for seasonal boots. “When it’s cold and dry, people want to stay indoors. When it’s cold and snowy, that’s when there is action and business to be done. It hasn’t been snowy.”

Fred Scarpasi, a salesperson at Avenue J Men’s Shoes in Brooklyn, N.Y., agreed. “Bad weather is good for business,” he said. “When we get a taste of snow I can sell 30, 40, 50 pairs of boots a day. But when it’s just brutally cold, it’s just quiet.”

New York’s Galo Shoes co-owner Edna Galo added: “Now that [temperatures are] in the teens, [customers] don’t come out. If we get snow on the ground, she comes in not because she wants to but because she needs to. For us, [cold weather sales] are all about the wet and snow.”

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