As weather improves, so does business

Wednesday, December 12, 2007 | 2:29 p.m. CST; updated 8:08 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008
Dru Vaughn, owner of Hemingway's Ltd. wine and cigar store, begins to close the shop on Tuesday evening. Vaughn, like other retailers contacted by The Missourian, said that bad weather has slowed sales over the past few days, but he is confident that last-minute shoppers will make up for lost business. "People will get out eventually," he said.

COLUMBIA — This week’s winter storm may have dealt a blow to Columbia retailers, but business owners say sales are picking up now that the forecast has improved.

“Things are much brisker around here now,” said Dru Vaughn, one of the owners of Hemingway’s Wine & Bistro on Peachtree Drive.

Vaughn had to close his business on Sunday because of the ice storm and said doing so meant missing out on as much as 4,000 dollars worth of business.

“That’s usually about half what we make in a normal weekday,” he said.

Some stores managed to stay open. Slackers CDs & Games was one of them. But manager Kate Passis said keeping normal business hours on Sunday didn’t do a whole lot of good.

“I can tell you we were very slow (Sunday). Extremely, extremely slow, even though we were open from 10 to 7,” Passis said.

But while the storm slowed sales on Sunday and Monday, retailers said they’re fortunate it didn’t hit on Saturday, which is typically a busy day for holiday shopping.

Holly Burgess, a manager at the downtown stationery store Pen Point, said that thankfully sales have started to pick up again and that by the end of the week, she expects business to be back to normal.

“I anticipate that the end of this week and the weekend will be really busy,” she said.

Nathan Terry, a metal fabricator and father of two from Harrisburg, said he didn’t go out shopping Sunday, but he’s back out now. While he’s having to be more cautious on the road, he said he’s not letting that halt his shopping plans.

“We’re the type of people that just forge it,” Terry said.

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