Dipping temperatures brings a boost to some businesses

CHAMPAIGN--As temperatures continue to drop, some local businesses are experiencing a boost.

It's time to load on the layers.

"I walked out at around six or seven this morning and it was not fun," said Dustyn Middleton, who was shopping for winter gear in Champaign Wednesday. "I didn't even want to sit in my truck it was so cold."

But since it's so early in the season, many people aren't prepared to bundle up.

"Not really," said Ryan Dowd, who was also stocking on winter clothing Wednesday. "I just kind of threw on kind of a jacket."

"The heavier coats, we're still getting in," said Alex Manard, apparel supervisor at Champaign's Gander Mountain.

Even so, stores selling outdoor apparel, like Gander Mountain, are seeing more customers come in thanks to the recent winter-like weather.

"Right now it's mostly coats and gloves and hats," said store manager Christy Saam. "I mean that's the biggest thing, just winter's coming and we need to get prepared."

Saam says Saturday was the busiest day of the season so far, but as the temperatures continue to drop and coats become a hot commodity, she expects the customer stream to stay steady.

"Obviously as the cold weather picks up more people are going to come in for the apparel," said Saam. "And we'll just keep selling it."

The price points will change depending on the purchase.

"Fifty to $200 just depending on which brand and which type," said Saam. "There's a lot of variance to that."

Still, customers are willing to pay when it comes to gear that will guard them from the cold.

"Probably around $50-$75," said Middleton.

"Whatever it takes," said Dowd.

So they can rest assured that they are ready for this winter.
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