Lower temperatures increase business

Sunday, February 15, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 4:07 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 16, 2008

While you might be cursing the cold, some local businesses are benefiting from this winter's frigid temperatures. The dramatic drop in temperatures has upped January sales for many retailers selling cold-weather items.

Jennifer Dasczynski, a manager of Target in Columbia, said that her store has definitely experienced a hike in business.

"Since the first big snowfall we have been totally out of scrapers, sleds, and shovels, and now that everything is moving to spring, these winter items will be even harder to find," she said.

Helen Weiss, the Divisional Vice President of Public Relations for Famous Barr, said that the cold is great for the department store.

"Business is brisk," she said. "We're selling lots of gloves, scarves, coats, earmuffs, boots."

Weiss said that even though sales are booming, the store is not restocking any of its winter merchandise.

John White, the manager of MC Sports, a sporting goods store in the Columbia Mall, said that winter sales have increased for obvious items like ski products but has also for more unusual products, such as treadmills.

"People can't get out and walk, or they can't even drive to the gym because of the weather, so in that aspect it has really helped our sales," he said.

According to the National Weather Service's Web site, daytime temperatures for the month of January typically hover right around the mid-30s in mid-Missouri. This year's temperatures have been significantly lower. January's average temperature was 28 degrees, while the average temperature for February so far is 22 degrees.

Don Edson, the store manager of Dillard's, said that even though winter has been here for months, it seems to be lingering longer this year and people are noticing.

"We are selling a lot of coats and sweaters. Our prices are good right now because most of our coats and sweaters are marked down or on clearance," he said.

Weiss said that while low temperatures are good for business, she can't wait for warmer weather to arrive.

"I am definitely looking forward to spring, when you see all the cute new fashion that is out, it makes you ready," she said.

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