Snow slowed sales; business still steady
With a dwindling economy, businesses across the nation have taken a serious financial blow. And merchants on German Street have faced an additional challenge. Many blame the weather, not the economic downturn, on slow holiday sales.
From east to west German Street, a snow storm hit the busiest street in town the weekend before the Christmas holiday. Many business owners said that the Saturday before Christmas, being one of the top three best days for retail in a calendar year, really hurt their sales.
Laura Turman, owner of One Two Kangaroo, located on 122 W. German St., kept an optimistic outlook. “Considering the inconvenience of the snow that Saturday and how it just wiped out shopping that Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, you can’t fairly compare the holiday shopping season to ones in the past.”
She pointed out that before the snow hit, sales were right on target and noticed that Shepherdstown locals consistently still shopped locally because they always support the town’s businesses.
Just a few doors down at 110 W. German St., Steppin’ Out Shoes and Such, the boutique owned by Sharon Snyder, prepared for the hardship but did well for the rushed time of year. With the plan of shopping for the local demographic and their need for comfy yet stylish and unique clothes helped keep sales steady.
“I appreciate (those) who did shop before the holidays, the residents who spent their dollar. It maintains my store and keeps it on its feet,” Snyder said.
And to keep momentum going in the store after the Christmas excitement has died down, Snyder is holding a 40-percent-off sale this month, sans all Vera Bradley products. She plans on following it up with a 50 percent sale next month – all in preparation for a slew of new spring items.
Other stores in Shepherdstown are also prepping for big sales off store products to keep things going, and they’re doing so in a big way. Blue River on 123 E. German St. is holding a sale until Jan. 31 with up to 50 percent off purchases.
Eric White, who has owned the shop for three years now, said he tries to keep the business going by constantly having sales and expects 50 percent of his cliental being tourists. “They come for the unique gifts the weekend before Christmas was slo, but I thank the customers who do come out because we ended up being just fine.”
As spring approaches, the shops are not only looking forward to the summer months as vacationers amble through Shepherdstown but also the small holidays coming up. Stores like One Two Kangaroo can get quite the pick up for occasions such as Valentine’s Day and Easter.
“As the seasons change, so do our products, such as kites for the summer months I’m generally optimistic for next year though. I have modest goals like paying the rent, my employees, and still selling toys that I think will encourage kids to play outside.”