What does 53°F and light rain mean for sales? The answer is different in Chicago than in Charlotte; it varies if it is a day in March or October. The answer will also differ depending on the retailer or sector — Walmart versus Costco, True Value versus Lowe’s, mall-based versus online. Weather’s influence on consumers is complex and nuanced; temperature or precipitation data is easily misinterpreted and misused.
As a result, many businesses believe planning for weather’s impact on sales is an exercise in futility. After all, weather is a notoriously fickle and uncontrollable factor, and no forecaster can reliably predict the temperature beyond the next few weeks. However, ignoring the effect of something with such a profound impact on consumers’ day-to-day lives can lead to severe miscalculations in everything from sales and inventory to markdowns and staffing levels. To help retailers understand how to anticipate and plan around the weather, NRF and Planalytics have identified five common weather myths that affect retailers and how to effectively incorporate weather considerations to make better decisions.
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