Snowbirds mean business for Worth Avenue
While snowbirds may be known for clogging up highways during the winter season, they also assist in bringing a decent amount of business to Palm Beach.
As climates get colder in the north, businesses get busier in the south. South Florida’s warm weather becomes a popular appeal for those seeking an escape during the winter.
The term “snowbird” is certainly not a new idea, although it has evolved over the years. The word commonly refers to retirees from northern states who head to warmer climates during the winter.
For West Palm Beach’s renowned Worth Avenue, snowbird season provides an abundance of business. The influx of consumers brings increased revenue to the luxury shops, restaurants and art galleries.
“Here on the island, we definitely see that the season will start to kick in around November,” President of the Worth Avenue Association Ashley Berry said. “Definitely by beginning to mid-December, everything will be in full swing here in Palm Beach.”
The street’s retailers are inevitably the largest attraction for many West Palm Beach guests.
“The retailers do the best that they’re going to do for the whole year between December and April,” Berry said. “The shops do well on their own, but we always want to give more of an experience as well.”
During this season, luxury stores like Gucci, Chanel and Valentino are not the only incentive on Palm Beach’s wealthiest street. Worth Avenue offers various events throughout November and December for the community.
“We want to give the people coming in the best experience that they can enjoy during the season, outside of the retail,” Berry said. “We really try to do a lot more active events during the season when everyone is here and can actually enjoy them and partake in them.”
Worth Avenue begins hosting its annual events like the car show and famous Christmas tree lighting in December when the bulk of consumers arrive. Throughout the season, Worth Avenue hosts a historical walking tour every Wednesday which helps to show the community what the area has to offer.
However, business doesn’t stop when the Christmas lights come down. The months following the holiday season are still frigid up north.
“We use Mother's Day as a marking point as to when the island will actually start to slow down,” Berry said.
By April and May, business returns to normal as snowbirds head to their home states.
“It’s definitely not just the stores that are driving business,” Lilly Pulitzer associate Ramsey Stross said. “They play a big role, but Worth Ave does a lot on their own.”
By Sofia Jas