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Retailers Worry Snow Will Halt Holiday Sale Turnout

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Mahwah, N.J. snow -- Feb. 21, 2011.

Snow in Mahwah, N.J. on Feb. 21, 2011. (credit: CBS 2)

PARAMUS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Many people were off from work and schools were closed for Presidents’ Day, but retailers were worried that this latest round of snow would keep shoppers at home on what’s normally a big sale day.

The fresh blanket of snow in Mahwah made last week’s spring-like weather seem like a distant dream. “Well I was ready for spring. I was like ‘the snow’s almost melted, almost gone’ and now look. We got almost a foot,” said resident Donald Jennings.

He spent all morning shoveling almost eight inches of snow off sidewalks in his neighborhood. “I shovel like six  of my neighbors’ driveways and I’m telling you it was like every week for awhile there. Rough on my shoulder.”

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The morning snowstorm walloped New Jersey, covering roads in a slick white coating and making driving difficult. “It’s a little icy underneath once you plow the snow but it should be alright once it warms up,” said snowplow driver Jimmy Jennerich.

Retailers who had been banking on Presidents’ Day sales to boost business got walloped too. They’ve had a rough start to the year, given the active winter, starting with the post-Christmas blizzard that left cars and buses stuck on the roads and continuing with storm after storm after storm that kept shoppers home.

Electronics Expo usually sees a boom on holidays with big doorbusters to lure in shoppers. Monday, it was nearly empty.

“Usually we have lines outside. We have morning specials. Because of the weather, we’re going to have morning specials extended through the day,” said manager John Costa.

Among the few who made it in are David Caminiti and Lisa Arluna. “Yeah I was thinking ‘I don’t know if I really need it today’ but he decided we should go,” said Lisa Arluna of Montvale.

It’s tough enough getting out of your driveway, just ask Fred Walter who spent awhile digging out his wife’s car. Even so, he’s not complaining.

“I like the four seasons. I like the seasons. It’s good,” he said.

“Very slippery. In this parking lot as I was plowing, and the truck was spinning in the back. I didn’t think it would be this bad but it is very, very slippery,” another snow plow driver said.

“Cars will be coming in, and President’s Day, we have a television store next door, there will be lines to get in and we have to keep it clean. It’s going to be a little difficult today, because a lot of people are off in Paramus, you know, the shopping capital of the world they say,” he added.

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