Retailers Battle Another Round of Weather

Footwear retailers from the Midwest to East Coast are up against another round of wild weather as blizzard conditions continue to affect parts of the country.

While some stores reported they are moving discounted cold-weather boots, others noted most consumers have already made those buys. 

At Chicago-based Salamander Shoes, manager Angela Aufegger said many people were shopping on Monday, the first day of the storm, but then stayed away on Tuesday. “They picked up sale items that struck them,” she said, adding that customers bought a range of fall styles due to deep discounts of 50 to 60 percent off fall goods. “If [customers] get a deal, they will buy.”

In the Washington, D.C., area, where snow hit early Wednesday morning, storeowner Mimi Joo of Ramer’s Shoes in Chevy Chase, Md., said the worsening conditions had already impacted sales. “People are not coming out,” she said. “[The storm] is hurting business.”

Despite the weather, Joo did not anticipate an uptick in boot sales. “[The storm] is only going to be for a day,” she said. “People already have boots because it’s March. It’s too late in the season [to profit from this storm].”

At McCollum Ferrel in South Boston, Va., where wet snow fell Wednesday, owner David McCollum dragged out the last of his cold-weather and seasonal dress boots. 

“People had been coming in yesterday,” said McCollum. “The colder weather was the extra bite that helped [us] get rid of winter merchandise.” He added that the product was placed in the store’s sale room because spring items had already been given prominent placement.

And though snow was forecast for New Jersey later on Wednesday, Tammy Thomas, owner of Foot Candy in Mendham, N.J., said she did not expect to pick up any last-minute boot business, despite discounting fall goods. Her reason: “People already have their [boots] by now.”

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