Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Could there be sunshine on the horizon for retailers?

April 11, 2008

umbrella.jpgMarch’s weather was not exactly a friend to retailers.

It was cold, damp and even snowy in parts of the country — not quite ideal weather conditions for retailers trying to sell new spring goods, like dresses, sandals, or even fertilizer. (We saw the extent of their struggles on Thursday, when retailers reported dismal March sales figures)

While weather is obviously a very local phenomenon, April so far has not been much kinder than March. According to weather tracking firm Planalytics, this weekend – April 12th and 13th — will be a repeat of most Eastern weekends this spring — a mixture of storminess and cooler temperatures.

But wait … could an upper air pattern be coming to the rescue?

Planalytics said its meteorologists see a change in the upper air patterns between April 16th and 20th. That should result in warm, fair conditions over much of the East and Southeast, extending westward into Texas and as far north as southern Ontario and Quebec, the firm said. 

“Pent-up demand is strong in the East, from the Carolinas to the major Canadian cities of the St. Lawrence, where consumers have been anxious to get out and about. Their gardens need tending, bicycles tuning, and kids want out of the house,”  Planalytics said.

Get ready for surging demand for shorts, sundresses, fertilizer, grass seed, bottled water – even beer — Planalytics said, as people flock to the stores or enjoy the outdoors.

But we can’t all enjoy better weather.

“Unfortunately, the same change turns the Northwest cool and stormy and keeps many of the western and central Canadian provinces out of the fair weather,” the firm said.

(Photo: Reuters)

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