Weather Impact Analysis: March 2017
While the spring selling season started strong in February, winter came back with a vengeance in March, limiting demand for spring merchandise. Cold temperatures permeated the U.S., especially the highly populated Northeast. In Boston, conditions in March were colder than February, January, AND December, which was the first time this happened in recorded history! In New York City and Philadelphia, for the first time since 1984, the average temperature in March was colder than February. This was only the sixth time in over 140 years that March finished colder than February. A late season snow storm brought wintry conditions to much of the Mid-South and East during week 2.
Apparel stores were negatively impacted by $425 million for the month, and Restaurants were down $522 million. Home Centers were hit the hardest, -$1.3 billion, as March is like their “Christmas Season”.
Demand for key spring product categories was down nationally:
*Weather-driven demand is the percent lift or drag that weather and weather alone has on sales versus the same period last year.