The single-digit temperatures are over, for now. But this week the snow returns. Those focused on the SuperBowl last night didn't bother checking the weather forecast and were surprised this morning that the white stuff was back. As the day went on, it was obvious, this storm meant business. Up to eight inches could accumulate here in central Connecticut. Another snow storm is predicted for later in the week.
Retailers are experiencing, yes, the perfect storm. There was the extreme cold. Now there is snow. With more to come. Not that they were sitting pretty before. Even brick-and-mortar WalMart took some hits. In the North Haven, Connecticut shopping plaza anchor store Staples is shuttered. Merchants in that complex fear that Barnes & Noble will be next. Since low-income consumers continue to struggle despite signs of recovery, the plaza's Dollar Tree isn't jammed packed, as it had been. Lines don't snake through the aisles.
The bright spot in that corner of real estate is PetSmart. It welcomes our four-footer companions. Prices on Cesar's dog food is significantly lower than it is in the supermarket, at least last week. The help really does help. And no one seems to notice when our pet children take a whizz.
Over on the other side of the complex the store that is thriving is FroYo, even in this weather. One of its sales tactics in January has been Happy Hour. During a three-hour window we can load up our cups with frozen yogurt and toppings for the flat fee of five bucks. Some of us have become "regulars" during that time.
The more stores that shut down the less choice we consumers will have. Perhaps we should adopt a retailer in our town to pitch in and help market itself. Without my North Haven Staples I have to form new patterns of shopping for what is needed for my home office.