This weekend, pale-skinned New Yorkers stumbled into the sun for the first time in six months, ready to soak up some rays and slip their winter toes into new sandals. But if anyone was really feelin' the heat these past few days, it was the city's retailers, who frantically tried to keep up with the sudden spike in sidewalk traffic. "People are definitley out," says Calvin Tran, who sat outside his eponymous Nolita boutique enjoying the warm Sunday afternoon. "But ... it's a different kind of crowd."
A number of downtown shop-keeps actually said that rising temperatures may lure people out of hidey holes, but don't always guarantee sales. "It's busy, but sort of slower at the same time. I think people are at the park," said one American Apparel staffer. On the other hand, some boutiques were so packed we could barely get in the door, let alone get a word in with the employees: "It has picked up, as you can see," said Alex at Olive & Bette's Soho location. "People are really interested in the transitional pieces -- light cashmere cardigans in particular. Lots of pale colors."
At Pinkyotto on Prince street, a line stretched nearly out the door as girls waited to try on soft, drapey dresses (of which the store has many). "It feels like summer, you know. Everyone's wearing sandals and buying new things. Our floral dresses are doing really well, and the fun prints, like stars and lightning bolts," explained Ming. But at Rebecca Taylor on Mulberry Street, Sunday was "not a dress day," according to Emma. "It seems more about tops and skirts today. And florals ... lots of florals. People are looking for things that are fun and fresh" One flirty summer top in particular -- a "come-hither" white eyelet corset -- was the best-seller of the week.
At Williamsburg favorite, Jumelle, spring sales were "kind of all over the place, to be honest," said Adrienne, as she perused the day's recap. "A lot of little tops, things people can wear with pants and skirts. Light, light tops ... and anything silk. Whether it's a silk dress or a silk top, those have been doing really well." Jewelry has also been a big performer for the store. "That's the thing about jewelry. As the clothes get lighter, you can kind of pile on the jewelry a little more." Hopefully, the drizzle passes quickly this week so we can get back to our pursuit of new baubles and swishy summer dresses -- though we have a feeling the boutique staffers will be glad to have a (brief) lull in the chaos this rainy Monday.