Cold weather impacts on trade

STAWELL businesses have reported a downturn in sales over the past week, due to the sudden cold snap.

The sudden cold snap has has an impact on trade in Stawell's Main Street.

The sudden cold snap has has an impact on trade in Stawell's Main Street.

Business operators have been hit hard by the turn in weather, which delivered plenty of rainfall and below average temperatures.

Most business operators have agreed on the fact that business has been slow ever since the winter cold started to settle in. Shoppers haven't been braving the cold and businesses are suffering.

"Business has been slower than usual," Deb Riley, owner of baby apparel store Ruby Road, said.

"There aren't as many people wandering the streets and deciding to come in and have a browse. They come in, get what they want and leave."

Robyn Young, from Stawell Sportspower, agreed that shoppers had been staying at home during the cold spell.

Mrs Young said she had noticed a trend that people aren't coming up the main street to do their shopping as often.

"We don't get many people looking around anymore," she said.

"They walk in with the intention of buying a certain thing and then they leave.

"It also gets quieter quicker because people are getting all their jobs done and getting home as soon as possible."

For some businesses, certain products have sold worse, or in some cases better, depending on their usefulness and demand during the colder weather.

Llewats owner, Sharyn Salmi, said she had certainly noticed the demand increase for hot drinks such as coffee and chocolate during the cold snap.

"Hot drinks are selling better and cold drinks aren't selling as much anymore," Mrs Salmi said.

"It's the same with soups and salads. More people are ordering hot soup, rather than a cold salad during this weather."

Janita Perry, owner of Perry's Footwear, said she can see a similar pattern emerging even in a different kind of business.

"Boots and slippers have started to sell really well, but sandals and thongs don't sell at all now," she said.

Mrs Perry also predicts the fact that business will get slow because of the weather, and tries to compensate.

"I usually turn the heater up during winter so then people can browse around the store in comfort."

In rare cases though, some fortunate businesses hit their sales peak in the winter, such as Brian Hancock's Amcal Pharmacy.

Owner Brian Hancock said his staff had been kept busy during the cold months.

"We don't get as many people when it's really cold, but when it's reasonable we get more customers than usual looking to buy cold and flu medication," Mr Hancock said.

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