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Sterling Heights

February 19, 2014

Retailers hope for hotter spring sales after cold winter

By Eric Czarnik
C & G Staff Writer

In the midst of a bone-chilling winter full of snow, retail stores in Sterling Heights and beyond are looking forward to new styles, products and sales this spring.

Amy Stanton, marketing manager for Lakeside Mall’s owner, General Growth Properties, said this spring’s most popular items and fashions should convince people to fill up their shopping bags.

“Especially this year, people are ready to get rid of these chunky warm sweaters and snow boots,” she said.

According to Stanton, spring shoppers will have several unique options for new clothing. Stanton said more young people are adopting a prairie or rebel look by combining combat boots with softer styles like dresses and floral-design T-shirts.

In terms of color, she said Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2014, a purple hue called radiant orchid, will be represented. Less vivid colors like pastels are also expected to be big sellers.

“There’s a lot out there right now,” she added. “Iridescents are going to be big this spring. It’s almost like a holographic fabric.”

At press time, Stanton did not have holiday shopping season figures available.

Tom Scott, senior vice president of the Michigan Retailers Association, said cold and snowy weather in December and January have likely played a role in depressing sales.

He said Michigan retailers only saw an increase in holiday season sales of 0.1 percent, compared to last year’s holiday season.

“Weather has played a big role in this,” Scott said. “At the very point of the season when the stores should’ve been filled with people finishing their shopping … this year, we had the ice storms and the huge snowstorms that knocked out power to a significant percentage of the entire state.”

Scott said retailers were unlikely to recoup the impulse-buying sales that occur over the holidays. He also thinks that people might have been kept out of the stores more than they wanted to be, so there could be a boost from pent-up demand.

The size of this demand might be reflected in upcoming forecasts for February, March and April, he said.

“When we do finally get warmer, people will just be so thrilled to see it that they may want to get out of their yards and get wardrobes more than normal,” he said. “That would be a human reaction.”
Learn more about Lakeside Mall, 14000 Lakeside Circle in Sterling Heights, at www.shop-lakesidemall.com or by calling (586) 247-1590. Find out more about the Michigan Retailers Association at www.retailers.com.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Eric Czarnik at eczarnik@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1058.