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Cold Weather Affecting Downtown Shoppers

December 7, 2013, 9:55 PM by Leland Steva

Cold Weather Affecting Downtown Shoppers
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

The bitter cold is putting a lot of outdoor plans on hold this weekend, including holiday shopping.

Last Saturday, the sidewalks of downtown were full of shoppers enjoying all of Small Business Saturday, including a beautiful day. Just a week later, an almost 50 degree difference, and a lot less foot traffic on the sidewalks.

"Today has been down I think. I noticed there's a lot of cars out there but the people are just not walking up and down the downtown streets like we've noticed in the last few weeks so the cold, I would say definitely affecting the shopping today," Lillian's Krista Welch said.

DeAnn Echols, owner of the Great Outdoor Store, says her business picked up as the day went along. She believes with six fewer holiday shopping days this year, people need the weekends to get their buying done, even with the extreme drop in temperature.

"We only have a few weeks left and people have to get out and we're hearty South Dakotans. We lived in the winter before so we know how to prepare for it," Echols said.

For the shoppers braving the elements, there are items at both stores that were selling.

"We have a lot of people coming in looking for base layers specifically, kind of that first layer to keep you warm, and also hats and gloves, accessory items have been very popular as well," Echols said.

"Scarfs and gloves have been our number one seller for sure, and sweaters too," Welch said.

One benefit shoppers can enjoy: they might have to brave the weather downtown, but not the lines.

"I know we heard of a couple people that are assuming it's not going to be as busy because it's cold, so they're just bundling up and being brave and heading out to be shopping today," Welch said.

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue released tips for people that are out in the cold this weekend, including wearing a waterproof or windproof outer layer. Mittens will also keep your hands warmer than gloves.

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