Shoppers and businesses feeling the heat downtown

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COLUMBIA – Despite temperatures feeling as hot as 98 degrees downtown, some store owners said they are happy with how much business they’ve had.

The Executive Director of Ragtag Cinema, Tracy Lane, said her business is one of the only ones in Columbia that isn’t affected by the summer heat.

“It might have a positive effect, honestly,” she said. “If anything, it’s easier to park downtown during the summer.”

Taylor Bacon, co-owner of Hitt Records, said, “It’s been busier for us than usual, so we’re kind of surprised. We were ready to tighten our belts, but business has been good.”

Bacon said his store is the busiest at the beginning and end of the summer, and the middle months are when the customer flow usually reaches its lowest levels.

“The summer does take a little bit of a dip, so we prepare for that,” he said.

Bacon said he makes up for the lack of customers during the day by attracting more people at night.

“We’ve been putting on shows late at night in the store,” he said. “After the cinema stops playing its movies, we might have a concert here to attract people.”

The owner of Muse Clothing, Nickie Davis, said she tries different techniques to attract people during the hottest parts of the day.

“We always have different sales. We do lots of emails and different giveaways,” she said. “We kind of coordinate that with what is happening during that season.”

Both Bacon and Davis said the heat has a larger effect on the number of people that come in during the week, but they usually don’t have any issues on the weekends.

“We’re open late on the weekends and so, when the sun goes down, we actually get a lot of business because of it,” Bacon said.

He said when people do come to his store, they tend to stay longer than they would during other parts of the year.

“We keep it cold. Keep the blinds down. We keep a place for people to collect themselves. It makes for a nice shopping experience,” he said.