Heavy Snow in the Northeast Sparks Sales of Cold-Weather Boots at Independent Shoe Stores

A powerful coastal storm has landed in the Northeast and New England, after hitting the western and central U.S. While some shoe stores in these areas reported an uptick in foot traffic today as customers look for winter boots, other retailers noted it’s been business as usual with typical foot traffic for a Monday.

At Super Shoes in Albany, N.Y., the snow forced the retailer to close at 4 p.m. Sunday and open late today. So far, store traffic has been typical of a Monday, said a sales associate, with customers coming in looking for snow boots.

While New York was not hit with snow until  this afternoon, Tip Top Shoes in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, reported customers stopping at the store over the weekend asking for snow boots in anticipation of the weather, said CEO Lester Wasserman. “They were inspired due to the snow on the way,” he said, adding media reports about the weather helped amplify the situation.

Wasserman also noted that foot traffic was brisk today despite the fact it was Cyber Monday and shoppers could get deals online. “Today’s Cyber Monday is outperforming last year’s [store traffic]” he said, most likely due to the fact customers need their boots immediately.

At sister location Tip Top Kids, there was also an uptick in traffic over the weekend, said Wasserman, due to a sale of dress shoes and boots. However, with snow hitting the city today, the store was busy with customers looking for boots for their children and was likely to get more crowded after school closes at 3 p.m. today.

Benjamin Lovell Shoes in Philadelphia said it’s been business as usual, according to the store’s manager, since the city typically doesn’t get as much snow as the surrounding area. While customers have been shopping for boots, foot traffic has not been higher than usual.

Like Benjamin Lovell Shoes, Foot Paths in Boston noted the city had not yet been hit by harsh weather. While customers had been shopping for boots over the weekend, according to sales associate Julie Riley, cold weather boots are an expected purchase this time of year.

Snow, however, has been falling in Westfield, N.J., prompting phone calls from customers asking if the store had winter boots in stock for both kids and adults, said sales associate Laura Pagano. She predicted foot traffic could pick up later today since schools are closing at noon, giving parents an opportunity to shop with their children.

While Rugged Boot & Shoe Co. in Mohegan Lake, N.Y., said the snowfall has been minimal so far, men, the store’s target consumers, have been coming in looking for insulated work boots and snow boots. “The weather gives them an incentive to shop for boots,” said CEO Nancy Reinstein.

Ugg, Timberland and Sperry, were on consumers’ shopping list over the weekend at Journeys in the Poughkeepsie Galleria, in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., according to assistant store manager Nekhema Ewing. However, she noted, while the city did have snow, boots from these brands are typically purchased during the holiday season.

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