NEW YORK — Snowbound East Coasters weren’t about to let last weekend’s blizzard stop them from shopping.
“People get cabin fever in weather like this, so they go out and shop,” said Stefani Greenfield, co-owner of Scoop, which has eight women’s specialty stores. “It was a buy-now, wear-now weekend. If the product was still around, they got it for a very good price.”
Scoop’s weather-hearty shoppers found discounts at upward of 50 percent for Prada Sport ski jackets, which typically retail between $595 and $1,195; a beefy Theory turtleneck that can be worn like a poncho at $295, and Theory rabbit jackets at $895. Hats and scarves from Prada Sport and Missoni also were hot commodities.
To brave the snow, shoppers snapped up Marc Jacobs moon boots and Michael Kors shearling boots. “People were just buying things that weren’t even in their sizes,” Greenfield said.
Shoppers were still clogging L.L. Bean’s phone lines Monday placing orders through its mail-order business for cold-weather clothes, snowshoes and skis, a company spokesman said. “A lot of people are stuck in their houses and there’s not a whole lot going on. They figure they might as well call and order some warm clothing.”
The company’s Freeport, Maine, store, which never closes, saw a downturn in traffic Saturday, but consumers returned in force Sunday and Monday, when many schools and local businesses were closed, the spokesman said. The Wind Challenger fleece at $69, the Super 200 vest at $49, the Super 200 pullover at $65, the Rugged Ridge parka at $99 and the Gore-Tex Mountain Guide jacket at $279 were bestsellers.
“Fleece obviously is another big one, especially our microfleece pullover, which people are wearing as shirts because it’s just so darn cold,” he said.
Up in Canada at Holt Renfrew, outerwear sales were “brisk” in its 10 stores, a company spokeswoman said. The retailer’s private label fitted wool peacoat jacket and cashmere coats were bestsellers as well as Burberry’s duffle coat and Andrew Marc’s quilted down coat.
Saturday’s storm prompted Burlington Coat Factory, a 357-unit chain, to close many of its stores in the Northeast at midday, but that didn’t stop the retailer from posting double-digit percentage gains for the week, said Stephen Milstein, executive vice president and general merchandise manager. In the days leading up to the blizzard, there was a “tremendous pickup” in sales of down coats, skiwear and fur-trimmed coats — fake and real, he said. Shoppers were back in the stores buying on Sunday.“I’m surprised how well we did yesterday. Here in New Jersey, the governor was telling people to stay off the roads, but people were out shopping for coats,” Milstein said.
At Lord & Taylor, Saturday’s snowfall did not deter women from buying spring merchandise, but some used the opportunity to pick up puffy coats from Calvin Klein, Michael Kors and Via Spiga, said LaVelle Olexa, senior vice president of fashion merchandising.
“The weekend remained consistent with current trend direction. Spring sold. However, there was a flurry of sales that reflect the customer’s desire for warmth and functionality,” she said. “The puffy coat continues to be fashion and function.”
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