Long winter choking retail’s spring

NYC merchants look forward to warmer days

A retail store in Soho
A retail store in Soho

The winter season is dragging down retail sales in New York City, which have fallen short thanks to the cold weather’s effective moratorium on spring clothing lines.

In the last three months overall retail sales were 0.9 percent below expectations, according to Census Bureau data.

Retailers are blaming New York’s freezing temperatures for the lackluster sales volume, the New York Post reported. This has lead some retailers to sell more “wear-now” merchandise — likes boots and coats — to earn back some revenue they are missing holding back on spring items, according to the Post.

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Retailers were also hit hard by the persistently high unemployment this winter, which kept shopper’s discretionary budgets pinched. And they are feeling the pinch from skyrocketing rents (in Soho retail rents jumped 53 percent year-over-year in the last quarter of 2013, according to data from Cushman and Wakefield).

The winter can’t last forever, though — industry leaders predict sales volume will pick up soon.

“[More snow] is not going to help retailers, but it’s not like they can’t recover at some point during the year,” Jim Rice, senior analyst at retail consultant Creditintell, told the Post. [NYP] — Angela Hunt