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Snowstorm on the Seaboard

Brooklyn on Tuesday
Photo: Brooklyn, New York by RomanKPhotography on Jan. 21, 2014

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Restaurants, hotels and stores are expected to be impacted by Tuesday and Wednesday’s snowstorms that are hitting areas from Louisville, Kentucky to Boston, Massachusetts. The National Weather Service predicts, “A storm system over the Tennessee Valley will move towards the North Carolina coast and deepen as it goes. As it continues up the Eastern Seaboard, moisture from the Atlantic will result in moderate to heavy snow from the central Appalachians to New England.”

As a foot of snow, followed by a deep freeze and winds from 30 to 40 mph hits the Midwest and Eastern seaboard, thousands of flights have been canceled. Many Washington D.C. offices remained closed Tuesday after the Martin Luther King holiday on Monday. And schools from as far west as Kentucky also remained locked.

New York-based Jesse Tron, spokesperson for the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), points out that some stores may close early as traveling becomes more difficult while others enjoy a last minute binge buy before the storm hits. “There will be people who need to buy shovels, salt and forms of snow removal equipment. Those sales will rise,” says Tron.

Indeed, one Washington hardware store worker said his hardware store was jammed Monday as customers stocked up on ice melt and shovels, according to an interview with the Huffington Post.

Reporting on trends in chain store and retail stores, the ICSC’s Tron thinks the major snow fall in the Midwest and Eastern seaboard could affect chain store sales and retail numbers this week, depending how long the transportation system is hit. “It will impact today and potentially tomorrow’s shopping, which means that sales may be off of expectations this week,” says Tron. The pent-up demand will likely be pushed into a sales bump for next week. “People won’t go out to the malls and leisure shopping. Some malls will close,” says the ICSC spokesperson.

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Don Sniegowski is editor of Blue MauMau, the daily news journal for franchise & small business owners. Call him at +1 (270) 321-1268, tweet @bluemaumau or email