Columbia businesses prepare for drop in student traffic

A cashier at Envy finalizes a purchase Sunday. Downtown businesses told KRCG 13 students' departure for the summer brings a noticeable drop in customers.

Downtown businesses told KRCG 13 Sunday they were not worried about the drop in customers that will come after college students go home.

Ashlee Czapla, a sales representative at Envy, said summer typically brings a noticeable reduction in business once college students leave. She said the boutique gets a lot of customers from sororities who are shopping for upcoming events. Still, Czapla said the store has plenty of long-time customers who frequent it during the summer. She said the store keeps the same hours and staffing it does during the school year.

â??During the summer, we definitely have a lot of events downtown that cause people to come in,â?? she said.

Delia Rainey, a server at Sparkyâ??s Ice Cream, said she always notices a drop in customers after the students leave but added the shop is popular with families as well.

â??We get a lot of business in the summer from Columbia families that come in to get ice cream,â?? she said.

Some businesses will keep shorter hours in the summe. Kaldiâ??s Coffee will start closing at 9 p.m. Stephanie Hunt, the assistant manager at Good Nature in Alley A, said her store gets about a third of its business from college students. Once summer sets in, she said her store will close about an hour earlier on weekends. She said the studentsâ?? return in the fall helps her offset any shortfalls she faces in the summer.

â??It all sort of events itself out once the students come back in September and the whole holiday season starts,â?? she said.