NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Retailers are still trying to rebound from low sales this winter. 22News found out if they’re back on track this summer, especially in Northampton.
Businesses welcome a recent boost in the economy, hoping to make up for the worst winter since 2009. Shop Therapy opened its newest store as winter began, and felt its bitter chill on business.
“Bad weather definitely affects a retail business because people don’t really want to come out when it’s nasty out, you know, and when it’s freezing cold,” said Keith Hazel, manager of the first Shop Therapy store in Northampton.
“March, April, May and this last month, June, business has increased immensely,” said Erica Cole, manager of the newest Shop Therapy in Northampton.
In those spring months, a new Commerce Department report found the economy improved 4 percent. Economists believe consumer spending picked up because Americans were eager to get outdoors again.
While the cold weather kept many people indoors instead of out shopping, it actually helped some businesses, like Western Village Sports. They rely on the cold weather to sell and rent equipment like skis and snowboards.
“We kind of hope it snows and we get that bad weather as some people would say, because we sell. We’ll be able to rent skis and snowboards and sell outerwear and stuff like that,” said sales associate, said Chris Tucker.
For most stores and restaurants in Northampton, summer is when the tourists visit, and spend.
“It’s always busy in the summer. Always,” said Jomyra Cruz, a Veracruzana Restaurant cashier.
That summer spending extends into the fall when students return. Economists predict consumers will continue to spend and help improve the economy at the fastest rate since before the Great Recession.