Local retailers slammed by another storm

By Matt Butner - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Another round of snow is piling on top of an already battered retail sector. Two consecutive weekends of heavy snow have local businesses wondering when they'll catch a break.

The snow was falling already Friday morning, but inside Nacho Mama's in Carytown, the margaritas were flowing. They're staying open as long as they can.

"Any time we lose a Friday or Saturday, which are our big money days in the restaurant business, it's going to hurt us a little bit," said Stephanie Wilkinson, General Manager of Nacho Mama's.

Last Saturday was one of those lost days for the restaurant, and many other shops as well.

"It's taken its toll- I'm sure it has with everybody down here," Wilkinson said.

A few blocks east at Plan 9 record store, walk-in customers make up the majority of the clientele. On snowy days, they're a rare breed.

"It's rough. It's a rough time these days," said Emaleigh Franzak who works at Plan 9.

She says the down economy and the time of year have hurt business just as much as the string of bad weather.

"It's not good, but it's pretty much our slowest time of year right after Christmas anyway, so if it had to happen I guess it's good it's happening now," Franzak said.

Carytown has unique challenges that are compounded when a snowstorm hits. Unlike other shopping destinations like malls, there's a shortage of parking spaces. Many are erased when a snowplow comes through.

With a second weekend in a row of heavy snow already underway, Carytown's merchants are making the best of a bad situation.

"It's actually kind of comical at this point. You try to make the best of it, you know," said Wilkinson. "I think we all share the same sentiment that we're kind of over snow and ready for spring."

All of the Carytown retailers we spoke to say they plan on opening Saturday, but they also say that could change --- depending on road conditions in the morning. 

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