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Stores find solace in snow via flurry on winter stock

Retailers found a silver lining in this week's snow clouds when they managed to clear excess winter stock.

Womenswear and menswear independent Ram in Manchester, which was hit by weekend blizzards, shifted winter coats from the back of the store to the window and sold more Ugg boots than usual. Operations manager Luke Hudson said that sales were up on last year as a result.

Multiples also performed well, as bright sunshine lifted shoppers' spirits despite the freezing temperatures.

Richard Antrum, marketing director at value chain Peacocks, said its spring and summer fashions had continued to sell well.

At womenswear retailer Episode, customers were also undeterred. Vanessa Hernanadez, general manager of parent company GRI UK, said: "Despite the colder weather conditions of the past week, sales haven't been adversely affected. We are performing ahead of this time last year in sales."

Nikki McLoughlin, owner of two-store indie Toffee in Liverpool, said a quieter Saturday than usual was probably due to St Patrick's Day rather than the weather. "People are buying even though it's cold. Last Wednesday the sun came out and we sold five summer dresses in an hour," she said.

However, other stores in the north saw a slight drop in trade, according to young fashion brand Duck And Cover. Marketing director Nigel Addison said: "We've heard of a few people hit by the snow, especially in Yorkshire. Just when everyone was thinking 'here we go with the T-shirts', it starts to snow."

SUN OR SNOW?: THE MET OFFICE FORECAST

As Drapers went to press, the Met Office expected the last of this week's snow showers to fall on Wednesday night, with UK temperatures returning to about 12 degsC by this weekend. Met Office forecaster Dave Cox said: "The cold is more noticeable this year because we've had mild weather. It's not at all unusual to get snow in March and April. But the sun has strength by this time of year, which has caused the snow to melt quickly."

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