February was a slow month for many businesses in New Canaan, with storms and bad weather keeping shoppers at home and school vacation luring them out of town, several business people in town say.
"February was not a good month for a lot of the stores," said Tucker Murphy, executive director of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce.
Dottie Gardiner, manager at Irrisistibles at 86 Main St., said the weather in February got so bad that the store closed for two days. On cold and rainy days, shoppers often seem to stay indoors at home, she said.
February "wasn't entirely bad" for all types of businesses, Murphy said.
For Art & Soul and the Bead Bar, a do-it-youself pottery-painting and beading business at 80 Main St., "February was pretty busy," said the owner, Sam Heberton.
Why? For one thing, Heberton said, not everybody leavs town for February vacation, and there are kids who "need something to do."
November and December were worse months for her shop, Heberton said. On days when talk of the fiscal cliff in federal spending was moe intense, it seemed to keep people from coming in the front door of Art & Soul, she said.
For Rick Franco, an owner of Franco's Wine Merchants at 130 Elm St., January seemed slower. "February actually did bounce back a little bit—until those vacations started.
Slower sales during school vacations is "just the price that you've got to be willing to pay if you do business in an affluent community," he said. "People go away whenever they feel like it."
In the Spring, Murphy said, "Many people want to spruce up their houses," and business tends to pick up for that reason, she said. And the economy is doing better, which also helps, she said.
The same also applies to clothing, said Gardiner, the manager at Irresistibles, 104 Main St.
"Tyically, March picks up considerably because we've got all he spring clothing in.
"The economy is coming back—it's doing very well," Franco said. "You find fewer people staying home. Instead they're going out to dinner—when you come into New Canaan on a weekend, every restaurant's packed."