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Snow no deterrent for some shoppers

Posted December 26, 2010

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— The threat of icy roads did not keep shoppers from seeking after-Christmas deals Sunday in Durham. As state and local public works crews worked to clear 6 inches and more from area roadways, bargain hunters braved the elements. 

"Usually every year we come out here and enjoy the sales, because we usually get a lot of money for Christmas," B.J. Evans said. "Getting out of our subdivision was kind of nasty, but the highway was clear."

Irene Rodda, visiting from Boston, said her hometown was looking for 18 inches of snow in coming days. Blizzard warnings stretched from New Jersey to Maine. 

"The forecast will tend to keep (shoppers) at home. It's not the best day for shopping," said Scott A. Bernhardt, chief operating officer at weather research firm Planalytics.

The storm had malls from the Carolinas through New Jersey closing early.

Durham shopping Snow keeps post-Christmas shoppers at bay

Rodda said just watching southern drivers negotiate the slippery roads had her worried.

"it's funny, but also when you see people who don't know how to drive in this weather, it is a little scary," she said.

The timing could have been worse for retailers. Last year, a snowstorm hit the East Coast the Saturday before Christmas, costing them about $2 billion lost sales.

So far, 2010 has been the best holiday season for retailers since 2007, which was a record year. The week ending Jan. 1 makes up less than 10 percent of the Nov 1-Dec. 31 season but accounts for more than 15 percent of holiday spending, research firm ShopperTrak says. Analyst say holiday season spending is on track to rise 3 to 4 percent, the best percentage increase since 2006.

The snow will send some shoppers online, where sales have been strong compared with last year. Online spending rose more than 16 percent the week ending Christmas Day, IBM Coremetrics said. The average order rose 13 percent to $192.52.

In Durham, the shoppers were determined to spend.

"We got lots of gift certificates for Christmas so we just wanted to come out and do some sisterly shopping," said Marie Fowler, who was at The Streets at Southpoint with her sister, Vicky. 

For others, a trip to the mall was a welcome break from a house-bound holiday.

"My mom tried to convince me to stay in the house and I was like, 'No, because if I don't take her shopping, she is going to get on my nerves,'" said Courtney Lashley.

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  • simplemind2 Dec 27, 2010

    Hummmm, every news article title is one thing (usually eye-catcher), but if one cares to read its contents completely - e.g. in this article and I quote it stated "The snow will send some shoppers online, where sales have been strong compared with last year. Online spending rose more than 16 percent the week ending Christmas Day, IBM Coremetrics said. The average order rose 13 percent to $192.52." Since "Amazon.com" is one of the "Online Retailers" and talking about it certainly is within the domain of the "Subject" here. Besides, this is a public forum. If you don't like to read other folk's comment, you can click your "Mouse" and leave!

  • mwilliams2 Dec 27, 2010

    Is this story about Amazon, or about people going out in the snow to shop?

    This national shopping addiction is disgusting. Stay home people and quit buying more junk you don't need. It's not a deal if you don't need it no matter what the price is! What happened to the real meaning of Christmas? Oh, I forgot, it got taken over by retailers. The "real" Christmas is now found in a shopping mall.

  • gnewsome1 Dec 27, 2010

    simplemind2. You have an excellent point. Giving them every benefit of the doubt, you should have received your order no later than December, 15. I placed orders with Cuisinart and Bed, Bath and Beyond on December 12 for priority, overnight shipping. Got them on December 23rd and December 24th respectively. Everthing else I ordered from all the other companies came in on time. I do agree that on line shopping is the way to go, unless of course, one likes to get in the midsts of "shopper's hades".

  • simplemind2 Dec 27, 2010

    Of course I "replied" to them and voiced my concern and they have not even provided me with an answer yet. BTW, the item I ordered is labeled as "Ships from and sold by Amazon.com".

  • howdiditgettothis Dec 27, 2010

    Ditto - jonnraleigh -

    I've been a longtime amazon customer and it is by far one of the easiest ways to shop for a wide variety of items.

    I'm betting if you contacted them directly, they would provide you an answer to your complaint.

  • getrealpeople Dec 27, 2010

    simplemind2
    Amazon is awesome, I have used for years without any issues. I ordered gifts and had them wrapped and mailed directly to out of town friends. Check the receipt you got and call them or email. Was it amazon or used on website? go on your account check orders etc. I am not one for online but Amazon is best.
    B

  • jonnraleigh Dec 27, 2010

    I've ordered from amazon.com for years. Never had a problem. I placed an order on 12/15 with regular shipping and received it on 12/18. Haven't received any emails. When you create your account, you are given the option of whether or not to receive email solicitation.

    Is this really the forum for vendor complaints? Shouldn't you just contact Monica directly?

  • simplemind2 Dec 27, 2010

    Watch out for "amazon.com", folks. I placed an order from them since 12/07/2010 for an item with "FREE Super Saver Shipping" (explained as "Your order will be delivered within 5-8 business days.") I checked and realized that the item I ordered (which is available from 12/7) has not even been shipped yet. Right now is 12/27 - yap, post Xmas and I got nothing from them yet. The interesting thing was since 12/07 after I placed my order, I've received quite a few Emails from them informed me about all sorts of good stuff - e.g. $5.00 promotion for next order, latest and greatest 3G Kindle, Gift Card and (even) Year-End Deals...etc. Since I'm First-time buyer in terms of dealing with their Website and until I personally feel satisfied with the product that they offered - I’ve absolutely no intention nor desire at this juncture to order anything else from them!
    BTW, I checked their Website and noticed that the item I ordered (still haven't received yet) still labeled as a "Sale Item" and