Whether it’s warm or cold outside, weather can dramatically impact holiday retail sales.
Last December was the warmest in more than 120+ years, which had a significant and unexpected effect on retails sells - especially on winter accessories.
The Weather Company’s Paul Walsh VP of Weather Analytics told IBTimes, “This winter will be closer to normal temperatures than last year. Which means the colder weather will put consumers in the holiday spirit compared to last year’s record warm weather.”
The warm temperatures from last year cost apparel stores at least $572 million between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31, compared to the same period in 2014, according to Planalytics, a research firm that tracks the impact of weather on retailers.
Walsh said there will be a stronger demand for seasonal items this year. Department stores, specialty apparel and mass merchants will benefit from the colder weather this winter. Unlike last year, where sales of women’s boots, a major category for retailers like Macy’s, Kohl’s, and J.C. Penny, fell 13 percent across the United States the week ending in Dec. 12. In addition, sales of hats, scarves, and gloves fell 4 percent in the first half of December.
Though if you live in California where it doesn’t snow, Walsh says “rain and cool temperatures will have a similar impact on retail demand as cold and snow would for the East coast.”
Data intelligence can also help companies better understand and even predict consumers’ purchasing behaviors so they can easily target shoppers. A good example, Walsh says, “home decor retailers or wine shops can use weather and location data to create a custom portrait of their target audience and enrich them when they’re taking a break from running holiday errands.” With these insights, companies can reduce guesswork and create and adapt promotions on a weekly, or even daily basis.