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Retailers Hope For Less Snow Than Last Year

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Local businesses are hoping for calm weather this shopping season after a rough 2010.

Stores can rely on shoppers like Barb Kavanaugh to come in even during the harsh weather.

“I love it, I love the challenge, I love the hot buys and I just love the whole scene,” said Kavanaugh.

The 2010 blizzard was a retail disaster — 17 inches of snow piled up the weekend of Dec.11, 2010. Anxious holiday shoppers were hoping for clear enough roads to drive on.

“(Roads) were horrendous to drive around town,” said one shopper.

On that Saturday, Creative Kidstuff reported an 82-percent loss.

“Those numbers, you just can’t make them up. There’s just no way,” said Roberta Bonoff, President and CEO of Creative Kidstuff.

Managers at Creative Kidstuff know how to adjust when the weather comes in — they shut down the store and send employees home early.

“Who’s left is usually stocking (shelves),” said Bonoff. “Because they know the next day when people can get out again, it’s going to be crazy.”

This season, retailers will try to recoup as much of their losses from the storms as possible, hoping they’re not in for a repeat of 2010.

“We get out the Farmer’s Almanac in our planning meetings and we look to see if that’s really going to happen,” said Bonoff.

Local businesses also rely on online shopping when snow falls. Creative Kidstuff saw a jump in online sales during last year’s snow storms.

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