NEW CANAAN, Conn. – Chad Gagnon might be in the minority, but he’s hoping Old Man Winter comes on strong in the next few weeks.
While many residents have enjoyed the recent mild weather, it hasn't been good for business for Gagnon and the rest of the staff at New Canaan Ski & Sport. The warmer than usual winter has slowed traffic into the store.
“Sales are down when you don’t have winter,” said Gagnon, who works in sales and repair at the Forest street shop. “We have customers that ski and get specific stuff to ski. But we also sell winter clothing, and if the weather is not getting cold or snowing, people won’t come to buy stuff if they don’t need it.”
The weather has been a big subject in and around town, with temperatures soaring into the 60s on Wednesday and rising into the mid 40s on Thursday. That’s not quite chilly enough for Bill Colleran, a store manager, who was tuning up some skis on Thursday afternoon.
Colleran said the shop sold plenty of ski and winter gear in September and October to customers anticipating a heavy winter. The store was mostly busy around the time of the freak late-October snowstorm, which many expected would lead in to a snowy winter. Now he’s hoping that winter can live up to its reputation and dump more white stuff on New Canaan and elsewhere in Fairfield County.
“I’m hoping for two more shots,” Colleran said.
The staff at Family Britches did not sell many heavy jackets and coats after Christmas. Yoni Carias, an assistant manager at the Elm Street clothing shop, said if shoppers don’t see or feel winter, they won’t bother to get new clothing for it. “If you lose a glove, you’ll want to get new ones. This year, you don’t need to replace [them],” he said.
Not everyone is basking in the unseasonable warmth. Caroline Balkite, 12, who visited New Canaan Ski & Sport with her family, was not holding her feelings back. “I hate it,” she said. “I really like cold weather and lots of snow.”
Her friend Caroline Sweeney, also 12, had the contrary view. “I like it. It’s fine with me,” she said.