Edmonton businesses struggle during cold snap

Some Edmonton businesses struggling during deep freeze
WATCH ABOVE: The extreme cold in Edmonton has been relentless this week and some businesses have been feeling the impact. Sarah Komadina explains.

Shop Harrow is new to High Street in Edmonton. The women’s boutique has a variety of items, but there has been a problem this past week — there are hardly any customers coming through the doors.

“Monday to [Friday there’s] maybe been 10 or 12,” owner Nicole Charlton said.

Extreme cold conditions have meant less foot traffic in the usually busy area.

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The senior economist with the city said in an email that retail spending may decline during extreme cold weather as some consumers may opt to put off their shopping until the extreme cold lifts.

Charlton has even tried using discounts as incentives to get people in the door, but it hasn’t worked.

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“Certain staff, their car wouldn’t start, they didn’t come into work. We had to modify some of our hours which makes it hard because then people don’t know if you’re open or closed,” Charlton said.

Business is typically slower in January for retailers but this is different. Places like Heart of the Home, a kitchen supply store, had to modify its hours for this week only.

“We have changed our hours, we are open at 10 a.m., but we have been closing a little early, at 4 p.m.,” owner Katryna Springer said.

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At Paddy’s International Cheese Market, sales are down 50 per cent compared to the same time last year.

“Often when it’s [cold] weather, my sales pick up because people automatically reach for comfort food, but with this amount and this degree of cold, we really noticed a drop-off,” owner Fern Janzen said.

Mountain Standard Cannabis owner Curtis Martel was also expecting to sell out his new edible products but says he still has some left.

“We were hoping for a big turn out but with the weather, it was hard for people to get out,” Martel said.

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The cold weather is expected to lift Sunday.