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The “Bomb Cyclone” Caused A Spike In Shopping, And The Weather Forecasters Saw It Coming

BuzzFeed News
By Leticia Miranda

Bad weather can be disastrous for retailers, but a small industry of meteorologists and weather data analysts are dedicated to making sure that cozy sweater is in stock and gets to you before the bomb cyclone hits.

As the bomb cyclone approached the Northeast this week and people frantically prepped for the storm, businesses were getting ready to meet the surge in demand with the help of weather data analysts.

Planalytics, a business weather intelligence company that works with retailers like Rite Aid and Ace Hardware, estimates that, based on the weather, demand for seasonal apparel increased dramatically this week across the country. Demand for boots in the Northeast was up 32%, and up 19% across the US; demand for thermals shot up 61% in the Northeast and 34% across the US; and hats, gloves, and scarves rose by 65% for the region and 44% across the US.

Retailers work with such companies to prepare for the rush of customers extreme weather can bring. Weather Trends International, a weather data and analysis company that works with retailers like Kohl’s, estimates purchases of electric blankets (which go up 24% for every 1-degree decrease in temperature) will see a 480% increase in sales this week compared to the same period in 2017; coat sales (which rise 5% per 1-degree temperature decrease) will double; and sales of sweaters and boots (which go up 5% for every degree) will shoot up by 60%.

“Retailers have to have a plan in place so they can execute,” said Evan Gold, Planalytics’ executive vice president of global services, to BuzzFeed News. “Those large-scale retailers do a good job. You can’t control the weather that happens, but you can control how you proactively put plans in place.” . . .

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