The freak October snowstorm that dumped more than two feet of snow on parts of the Northeast over the weekend had relatively little impact on most retailers in the region.
Connecticut and Massachusetts were among the hardest hit states with Plainfield, Mass., recording 27.8 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service. West Milford, N.J. — about 45 minutes northwest of New York City — saw 19 inches of snow, and New York City’s Central Park recorded 2.9 inches of snowfall during the storm. “This is the first time since records began in 1869 that an inch or more of snowfall has been recorded during the month of October,” the agency reported. Downed trees and power lines affected hundreds of thousands of homes throughout the New York Tristate area and New England, as the heavy, wet snow snapped tree limbs still filled with leaves.
Mayor Tom Wilson of Tuxedo Park, N.Y., likened the damage to the recent Hurricane Irene, and said roughly 50,000 residents in Orange and Rockland counties were without electricity on Sunday afternoon. Power may not be restored until the end of the week. Combined, those regions have a total population of about 685,000 residents.
Nevertheless, most merchants and malls were able to remain open through the day Saturday and reopen on time Sunday. However, the weather did cause some retailers to modify their hours.
Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Central Valley, N.Y., stayed open until 9 p.m. on Saturday and reopened at 10:00 a.m. Sunday, despite more than a foot of snow falling in Orange County, N.Y.
At The Westchester in White Plains, N.Y., which was up and running Sunday, only a handful of stores closed early Saturday, despite the fact that many Westchester county residents lost power and will reportedly remain in the dark until Tuesday.
The Westfarms mall in West Hartford/Farmington, Conn., was able to keep its regular hours over the weekend, however a customer service representative said a few stores were late in opening since their managers were having a hard time getting in.
The Danbury Fair Mall in Danbury, Conn., opened as scheduled at 11 a.m. on Sunday, but a recording said that due to the severe weather, individual stores may be affected and customers should contact the stores for hours. But the mall was still planning to go ahead with its Halloween trick-or-treat event today.
Macy’s closed 15 stores early on Saturday and delayed the opening of 15 additional stores on Sunday due to power outages, Macy’s spokesman Jim Sluzewski said.
At Bon-Ton, roughly a dozen doors closed early Saturday and “just a few” did not open on time Sunday due to a lack electricity, according to Bon-Ton spokeswoman Christine Hojnacki.
But not everyone was as lucky.
The Mall at Short Hills in New Jersey, which closed early at 5 p.m. Saturday, was unable to open Sunday due to a loss of electricity.
“Bloomingdale’s was able to reopen today as they’re on a separate electrical feed from the mall. I’m hearing that they are very busy now,” mall general manager Michael McAvinue said Sunday. “We are hoping to open at our regular time of 10 a.m. tomorrow, assuming the power is restored.”
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