Local retailers hoping for big business this Valentine's weekend

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Local retailers hope to play catch up this weekend after back to back winter storms kept many shoppers at home. Business owners say having Valentine's Day fall on a weekend is a big help.

Depending on the retailer, 25% to 60% of  the week's business could be on a Saturday. But many have had to close up shop one too many times recently thanks to mother nature. They hope to see a lot more green than white this Valentine's weekend.

Valentine's Day is a big time for retailers. But this year, local business owners couldn't be happier the holiday falls on the weekend, especially one that may not see that much snow.

"Certainly when people can't get out to the stores to do their Valentine's day shopping it effects everybody," said Matt Gearhart of Gearharts Fine Chocolates.

"The storms have just been terrible for shopping," said Lisa McSherry, owner of Lex's of Carytown.

McSherry says about 60% of her business is weekend sales. But McSherry says stores have taken a big hit with back to back weekend snow storms.

"From January to now I would say about 20% down just because of closed weekends," said McSherry.

The owner of Raylene's Pennyrich put up a going out of business sign just last Sunday. She said the store had been struggling for about a year and a half but with back to back winter storms she couldn't hang on any longer.

At Lex's, McSherry has taken steps to bring in more cash.

"We've decided to go forward and extend our hours on Saturdays and Sundays. We're adding an extra to our day Saturday and Sunday just trying to recoup some of this business we've already lost," said McSherry.

McSherry and others hope shoppers will show them some love this Valentine's weekend. Gearhart is expecting a mad rush.

"Luckily the snow didn't slow us too down for production, so we're doing a little bit better with the amount of chocolates we have on hand; definitely better for the consumer we'll have more chocolate," said Gearhart.

In Carytown, a lot of stores have sale signs in the windows to entice shoppers to take a look inside and maybe spend some cash.

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