Local Businesses Suffer During Brutal Winter - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Local Businesses Suffer During Brutal Winter

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Addie Olson



The U.S. Commerce Department said in a report that retail sales dropped nationally in January due to winter weather.

In West Des Moines, the Valley Junction storefronts have seen more cold than customers.

"There've been days where I haven't had more than 2 or 3 sales in one shift, so it can get pretty slow," said Caitlyn Reinders, an employee at Vintage No. 35. 

Across the street, Flashback Vintage and Retro has also been struggling to get people through the door.

"There are days when we have zero sales. There haven't been too many, but there have been some," said owner Diane Nelson. 

Nelson said sales have been about one quarter of what they are in a busy month.

Only the most loyal customers have braved the brutal winter to make it in to the shop.

"The regulars are just critical this time of year, " said Nelson. "That's why we try to take good care of them."

More guests than they've seen in a while ventured out on Sunday.

"In the winter we look at the weather forecast and we figure which days we're going to have people by how nice the weather's going to be or how bad it is," said Nelson.

The busy season is on its way, but until then, Nelson wouldn't mind a few more nice days to make up for lost time.

"It's holding on now - Just keeping our head above water until the traffic starts to pick up with the tourists," Nelson said.

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