Retailers Fear Dollars Could Be Stranded By Strike As Well
12/15/2002 04:52 PM
If you are just beginning your holiday shopping, a looming transit strike has made the countdown until Christmas a lot shorter.
Copyright © 2008 NY1 News
“I’ve got to do it all today,” said one shopper outside Bloomingdale’s on Saturday.
Bloomingdale's and Macy’s may not see the traffic their used to if the buses and trains aren't moving the thousands of holiday shoppers that that flock to these and other New York institutions.
“We won’t get it done” if there is a strike, said another shopper. “We'll just go to local stores,” said his wife.
But shoppers who have been checking off their lists for weeks say all the talk of a transit strike doesn't worry them at all.
“I'm right on schedule,” one woman said. “I already shopped before Thanksgiving for Christmas.”
“I'm not worried at all,” said another. “I started already. I'm not finished, but I started.”
Still, with two weeks to go until Christmas, there are some who have yet to make a dent in their holiday shopping. Some experts say a transit strike could cost city retailers millions of dollars.
“New York City holiday sales tend to be 30 percent of overall retail sales, so the number that we're calculating is currently $$45 million,” says Nancy Enslein, a retail analyst with the firm Weiss, Peck and Greer. “And if we get to next weekend, which is the largest shopping weekend of the year, that number could easily exceed $$50 million.”
Online retailers, which already see profits from those who dread the hustle and bustle of stores during the holidays, may get an even bigger boost from stranded New Yorkers, Enslein says.
“I think Santa Claus isn't going to be wearing the red and white uniform, he'll be wearing the brown UPS uniform this year,” she says.
- Jennifer Rainville