Lennoxville businesses brace for a quiet winter season

By Michael Boriero - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Lennoxville businesses brace for a quiet winter season
(Photo : Michael Boriero)

The inconsistent nature of the pandemic has forced the Eastern Townships into a red zone, resulting in Bishop’s University announcing a return to an online-heavy course load come the winter semester and subsequently reducing foot traffic in local businesses.
With many students likely returning home for the holidays and staying put due to health and safety restrictions, shops in the area are adjusting expectations when it comes to winter sales. Kassandra Ryan, however, isn’t too worried about the potential loss of student revenue.
An assistant manager at the Hatley Boutique Outlet in Lennoxville, Ryan is confident the store’s customer base is strong enough to survive a relatively quiet winter season. They were able to maintain steady sales during the summer, she explained, which is a notoriously dead period.
“In terms of our sales, I can’t say we’re highly affected by the changes in schools,” Ryan said. “I saw it during the summer, we definitely maintained pretty regular sales even if students weren’t around; mostly from our community base.”
Losing the student population will have an impact, she continued, Hatley just won’t feel it as much as other stores in the area. The worst part about being in a second wave of coronavirus cases is that, in general, not a lot of people are out shopping, Ryan said.
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