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How weather impacts your sales in surprising ways

Reading Eagle
By Fran Odyniec

Businesses try to plan as storms can impact the bottom line.

When engaged in planning and budgeting, many businesses talk about the weather, reach the conclusion that it will repeat itself and thus plan accordingly.

“That’s where the fallacy is,” said Scott Bernhardt, president of Planalytics, a global business weather intelligence firm in Berwyn, Chester County. “Weather is likely to repeat 15 percent of the time, and it changes day to day.”

Here’s an insight from Planalytics’ partnership with the National Retail Federation: Jewelry is three times more weather sensitive in January than during the rest of the year. Why? In January, consumers often are looking to redeem gift cards and take advantage of post-holiday sales.

“Favorable weather in January (typically warmer and drier than normal) can drive store traffic and lift jewelry sales in advance of Valentine’s Day,” the federation wrote in its 2017 report. “Of course, when the inverse occurs, and the weather is cold and snowy, jewelry sales can be limited.”

Coffee feels the impact, too. Sales swing 5 percent on average due to the weather, NRF and Planalytics said. A cool spring is good for coffee sales – in some places.

“These swings vary based on the time of year and market; major markets in the Northeast can experience strong coffee demand of 10 percent above normal levels when cool weather extends into spring months,” the report said. . . .

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