GARDINER — Temperatures are up this summer, but sales are down in this Yellowstone National Park gateway community.
An apparel store in Gardiner sees sales down significantly from a typical summer season.
The store, Outwest T’s, sits on Park Street in Gardiner, near the Roosevelt Arch and North Entrance to Yellowstone National Park, and normally welcomes hundreds of visitors a day. During a busy July day, Francesca Monte says it’s not rare to see anywhere from 200-250 sales.
“We move at least 50,000 shirts in the course of a summer here,” Monte said.
This year, Monte says sales are down 90 percent, meaning out of those 50,000 shirts about 5,000 will be sold.
“So if we don’t move that, and we’re down 90 percent like we are now, I’m sitting on tens of thousands of items that I cannot move,” Monte said.
Purchase orders are typically made a year in advance, for Outwest T’s, and prior to the flooding of the Yellowstone River, the biggest concerns surrounded the supply chain and the price of diesel.
Now, it’s the boxes stacked high in different locations around the store that concern Monte.
“Usually the stock room would start being empty, but now that’s not the case,” Monte said.
From a ‘normal’ season with upwards of 250 transactions to the 2022 Summer Season of about 20 sales a day, concerns of next season loom—like what the purchase order for next year will look like.
“I had to tell my vendors to wait until the end of the season to get paid, and that’s why we’re open, to try to generate as much revenue as possible,” Monte said.
Many other Gardier retailers, bars, restaurants, and more decided to close for the 2022 season, but Outwest T’s continues to operate for those coming in for a day trip or following a day of recreating in this gateway community.