Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Winds blow in retailers’ favor

November 24, 2008

This Thanksgiving shopping weekend,  the weather may be one element not giving retailers a headache.

Retailers are geared up for the crucial three-day Thanksgiving shopping weekend, and many have already slashed prices to kick-start sales and rouse wary shoppers into spending mode.

While this holiday sales season could be the worst in years as declining home values, higher food prices, a credit crunch, and rising unemployment curtail consumer spending, weather tracking firm Planalytics has some good news for retailers — it predicts that most major population centers in North America should experience favorable weather conditions during the Thanksgiving weekend. 

In addition, the current cold weather in the Midwest and East Coast have put consumers into a holiday mindset earlier than last year, Planalytics said, boosting demand for seasonal items. 

“While, for some areas, snow flurries and precipitation events are likely over the weekend, they will reinforce to consumers that the holiday season has arrived,” Planalytics stated.

There could be some ”traffic limiting” events in the Midwest and Great Lakes as weather systems resulting in a wintry mix could keep people close to home, the firm said. But it said the Southeast should experience seasonal conditions, and the eastern half of North America should anticipate strong demand for seasonal items like scarves, hats, gloves, sweaters, skiwear, soups, hot beverages, and lip care. 

Planalytics also said the overall trend in the West supports favorable demand for seasonal apparel and consumables, such as food and household cleaning products.

Finally, a bright spot for retailers ahead of the Thanksgiving weekend! 

(Photo/Reuters)

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