Northern California Storm Impacts Shoe Stores

Yesterday’s severe rains in Northern California put a damper on business, according to independent shoe retailers, with several retailers forced to shutter their doors due to the storm. However, some area residents ventured out to puddle jump, even stopping into the Sockshop & Shoe Company in Santa Cruz for a new pair of rain boots.

Here’s what retailers had to say:

Dave Astobiza, president, Sole Desire, Santa Rosa: “We haven’t been too affected. Yesterday, we had to close [three] stores because of flooding: our Sebastopol, Petaluma and Menlo Park stores. In our area, there was lots of flash flooding. Yesterday, there was no business whatsoever. Two days have been a killer.”

Jesse Velazquez, manager, Sockshop & Shoe Company, Santa Cruz: “Santa Cruz [locals] are pretty hearty people. Since we’ve been in a drought for so long, everyone was excited to stomp around with his or her umbrellas and rainboots. The rain may have slowed us down a little, but not a ton. People were bringing the kids in for rainboots, and the adults were getting rainboots.”

Karen Poyatos, buyer, Elmwood Village Shoes, Berkeley: “We were open, but business was extremely slow. People were told to stay home and they did. We had minor flooding in the back of the store.”

Randy Geford, assistant manager, Hill’s Shoes, Oakland: “We didn’t lose power or were flooded, but because the store owner was not available to come into the area [due to the weather], the store was not open yesterday. The owner lives about an hour outside Oakland.”

Larry Bonner, manager, Mezlan, Valley Fair Mall, Santa Clara: “We’re in a mall, so there was no damage to the store. There was rain and everybody freaked out, so traffic was a little bit slow. We had a sale or two.”

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