Saks, Bergdorf, Bloomingdale's, Gap, and Barneys are among the stores shuttered over the weekend in New York, boarded up against the threat of Hurricane Irene. Stores that closed in the Northeast are thought to have lost about $20 to $25 billion in sales and 80 million customers in a weekend that should have been huge for back-to-school shopping. That might sound bad, but remember, Beyoncé being pregnant got more cover space on the New York Post than that floozy Irene who really wasn't as messy as she could have been, especially in New York. "Irene will have a relatively small impact on [same-store sales] for August, which ended on Saturday,"Eric Beder, managing director of equity research at Brean Murray, Carret & Co., told WWD. "For the back-to-school season, it will be a slight negative. The damage was a lot less than was expected, especially in the Northeast."
So stores can mostly focus on reopening, rather than cleaning up or resurrecting from piles of rubble. But what if the stores and malls had remained open? People probably would have gone there, Elizabeth Natwick, senior marketing manager for Tysons Corner Center Mall in MacLean, Virginia, suggests:
“You’ve got a lot of people that haven’t been able to do their shopping,” she noted, adding that there would “probably” be a pickup in business in the hurricane’s wake.
“Believe it or not, a lot of folks that lose power find the mall a safe haven and head over to it,” Natwick said.