Shoppers, Sledders Make the Best of a Snowy Sunday

Snow storm causing stores to lose out on last-minute Christmas sales

Even with nearly a foot of snow on the ground, New Yorkers are heading outside -- shopping, dining, sledding and enjoying the winter wonderland on the last weekend before Christmas.

"I want to throw snowballs," one 7-year-old reveler in Midtown said of the powder.
Lilia Jean, the assistant manager of a Midtown shoe store, says business is good so far Sunday.  "It's the holidays. They're going to come in to shop." She works at a Famous Footwear near Penn Station.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Sunday that most of the city's stores, theaters and museums are open despite the season's first big snowstorm. He urged New Yorkers to go out and spend.
Bloomberg added that it might be wise to call first to make sure the store or theater is open.

In Times Square, shoppers and tourists alike said the snow made for true Holiday experience.

"There's like a gillion stores in two blocks," one tourist from Texas told NBCNewYork.  Asked if she felt deterred by the snow, she issued a resounding "heck no! The snow's the fun part of it!"

Online shopping also could get a boost as consumers buy from home rather than brave the bad weather.

"People may just sit at home and shop," said Hana Ben-Shabat, a partner in the retail practice at A.T. Kearney, a global management consultant.

On Saturday, shoppers were trying to wrap up ahead of the storm.  One woman from Brooklyn said she had just purchased a bike for her son at a store in Chelsea.

"I thought it would be empty in there, but it wasn't.  It was so crowded," she told NBC New York.

At Manhattan Mall, a few blocks away from Macy's flagship store in New York, stores like J.C. Penney were still bustling at midday, when snow hadn't yet materialized. But even shoppers who took the train in to the city were wary.


Copyright AP - Associated Press
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