Midwest Snowstorm Has One Chicago Retailer Throwing a Party

Barbara Schneider-Levy

There’s no sense arguing with the ground hog.

Yet another round of snow has hit the U.S., this time creating havoc in the Midwest in cities including Chicago, Milwaukee and Detroit. And, according to weather reports another storm is expected to make its way from the Rockies and Plains to Northern Northeast this weekend.

But that doesn’t mean all locals are huddled at home. According to footwear retailers, they expect to see some late season boot sales as some consumers discover it’s time for a new pair.

At women’s boutique A Pied in Chicago, store owner Trudy Robinson Foley helped spark business by hosting a pre-snowstorm wine and cheese event on Thursday night in anticipation of the weather, offering 10 percent off boots.

According to Foley, the store announced the event in an email blast, sold eight pairs. “A mom bought a few pairs of La Canadienne for herself and then picked up a few pairs of Merrells for her kids so they could build a snowman,” she said. “Since school was called off today, I think we well see more people come in when the snow stops to get boots so they can go to work next week or for the next month.”

Foley has found that since the past few winters yielded little snow in the area, people had not been buying boots. “I hope now that they reach into their closet and find they don’t have good ones left, theirs could be leaking, they will come out.”

At Nokomis Shoe Shop in Minneapolis, floor leader Kerstin Erickson, noted while the latest storm did not hit the city, there remains a foot on the ground due to a recent storm. “It’s been a real winter for us already,” she said. “Most people probably have what they need. But if they don’t, they will be coming into see us.”

According to Erickson, the store maintains a solid supply of boots each season, and can meet customer demand through February.

In Detroit, Justin Craig, owner of RUNdetroit, a specialty running store, said there were few customers out shopping. And while many fellow businesses were closed, he decided to open his doors. “I had a couple of people come in for shoes today. From a customer service standpoint, I never when someone to show up and find our door locked.”

Craig planned to spend the day catching up on administrative tasks and give employees the option of staying home.

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