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Weather Impacts Holiday Shopping

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ASHLAND, Ore. – It’s mostly quiet in downtown Ashland Sunday morning, but a few tenacious visitors remain.

“I saw people on cross country skis, at least six, seven people. And kids out on sleds being pulled by their parents,” said holiday shopper Ryan Rutchland.

But even though the streets aren’t empty, it’s still not enough to make it feel like a holiday weekend. Local stores like Paddington station rely on holiday sales between black Friday and the new year – setting up decorations and sales in early November to tap into that three or four weekends of big crowds.

“January and February are slower for us,” said Paddington Station floor manager Sarah Gore. “So this is kind of our big build and push until the end of the year.”

But not all stores are feeling the disappointed. While gift shopping is down, winter clothes are in higher demand than ever.

Some items are flying off the shelves so quickly that business owners can’t keep up.

“Sweaters, jackets, flannels, leggings. Everybody wants socks and hats, which I didn’t have enough and I’m super bummed about that,” said Three Penny Mercantile owner Dana Nelson.

Most store owners say the jury is still out for this year. If boredom didn’t get enough people out over the weekend, panic to get shopping done in time might get them out next week.

“It’ll be interesting to see,” said Gore. “We’ll know a little better by the end of December.”