Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: The extreme weather in July


Check out the chilly, wet weather continuing into July.

umbrella1Last month, retailers weathered the second-coolest June in 10 years, with record rainfall in cities like New York, Boston and Chicago, according to weather research firm Planalytics.

That put a lid on shopper demand for short shorts and tank tops, hurting June sales results.

July didn’t necessarily bring enough heat to make up for the June wash out.

According to Planalytics, unusually cool temperatures were pervasive across the northern Plains, Midwest, and interior Northeast in July with many locations having monthly readings that made it the coolest ever for July.

Winds blow in retailers’ favor


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.

Check Out Line: Mother Nature matters more than ever


rain2.jpgCheck out the cool and wet weather that hit U.S. retailers in September as the month will go into the books as the fifth coolest in the last seven years and much cooler than last year, according to Planalytics Inc, a business weather tracking company.

While the mean September temperature in the 96 largest U.S. metro areas fell about 4 points from last year to 64.2 degrees, retailers selling rainwear (demand up 29 percent based purely on weather), pants (up 13 percent), dehumidifiers (up 10 percent) and hot cereal (up 2 percent) benefited, Planalytics said.

Temperatures favor retailers for a change


beach.jpgRetailers looking to sell seasonal merchandise got a helping hand from the weather last week — at least in some parts of the country.

According to weather tracking firm Planalytics, the week ending June 7 marked the first time in 7 weeks that the temperature average across North America was warmer than the same week the prior year.

Check Out Line: Let the sunshine in


sun21.jpgCheck out a little retail sunshine.
The weather finally got a little better in April, which helped retailer’s sales even as the economy stayed week, according to Planalytics.
“While April 2008, on a national level, may have been an ‘average’ month in terms of temperature — the weather helped unleash pent up demand, improving sales in the Northeast, Midwest and the Ohio Valley,” the consulting firm said.
The company, which provides weather information for businesses, said home centers, restaurants and softline retailers all showed positive year-on-year gains. 
It called out Bon-Ton, Dress Barn, Family Dollar and Lowe’s as having the strongest sales gains.
“While the economy remains sluggish, the weather has certainly done its part this month to improve business’ fortunes,” said Scott Bernhardt, Planalytics Chief Operating Officer.
Also in the basket:
Dr Pepper Snapple to focus on brands, U.S.
Unilever looks for Bertolli sale deal: sources 

(Photo: Reuters)

Could there be sunshine on the horizon for retailers?


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.