All posts by Tara McAdams

FIT Predictive Analytics for Retail and Fashion

FIT’s Predictive Analytics for Retail and Fashion Certificate Program is an interactive 10-week course (September 23 – December 2, 2021 (skips Nov 25)) that covers analytics techniques applied to retail and fashion-related industries. The course contains lectures, discussions, and case studies involving analytical techniques that can be applied to retail and fashion business scenarios. Both the analytics and business side of all calculations and techniques will be discussed. How these techniques are used and why they make sense for a business are woven together throughout the course.

You will learn how to analyze demand and retail data and how components such as seasonality, trend, and weather affect the data. You will apply statistical techniques to predict forecasts and measure their accuracy. In an extended case study for weather analytics, you will analyze the effect of weather on business data. For this you will work directly with visiting industry experts from Planalytics.

You will develop the ability to analyze inventory management decisions using the tools of statistics and probability and gain facility in decision making under uncertainty. This course will involve hands-on use of common spreadsheet tools with many specific applications involving demand, seasonality, trend, forecasting, tracking, lost sales, lead time, safety stock, promotions, advertising, pricing, and markdowns. Emphasis will be on common analytical techniques that can be leveraged for any business situation.

Some knowledge of elementary statistics and spreadsheet software is recommended, but there will also be references and a review for anyone needing to brush up on this background. This is a course for the practitioner.


Planalytics’ Mohan Anand, Senior Director, Value Engineering and Strategic Analytics and Evan Gold, EVP, Global Partnerships and Alliances are presenting and will be part of the program.

*PLEASE NOTE: This is a Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) educational program.

 

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Retail Weather Realities

By: Evan Clark

Merchants are contending with more extreme weather than ever, but can also benefit by keeping an eye on the daily forecast.

The weather’s gone extreme — Hurricane Ida and its dangerous strike on the Gulf Coast is just the latest stark example.

From a record start to hurricane season, extreme heat and massive fires to major flooding and big freezes, fashion and businesses of all stripes are having to get used to a certain level of catastrophe.

On top of compounding fears about climate change — and signaling just how much work the world has to do to contain global warming — extreme weather closes stores, delays e-commerce deliveries, distracts consumers, wreaks havoc on the supply chain and more.

And although experts say there are opportunities for fashion to gain more by paying greater attention to small day-to-day fluctuations, all those big weather events come with a big price tag for the economy, retailers and consumers.

Since 1980, the U.S. has logged 298 weather and climate disasters that each had damages and costs of at least $1 billion, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

All together, those disasters added up to $2 trillion in damages and costs to the economy — and the climate change bill is only getting bigger.

While the U.S. averaged 7.1 annual instances of $1 billion-plus extreme weather events between 1980 and 2020, that average jumps to 16.2 over the past five years, NOAA said.

So far this year, there have been eight weather disasters with losses of more than $1 billion including flooding in California, a heat wave and drought in the West, hail storms in Texas, flooding in Louisiana and tornadoes in the Southeast.

That could still just be a prelude as extreme weather is linked to rising global temperatures.

The United Nations’ latest report on the issue offered another stark warning for the world this month.

“Climate change is widespread, rapid and intensifying,” said the U.N., summing up the scientific findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “[The report] finds changes in the Earth’s climate in every region and across the whole climate system. Many changes are unprecedented in thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years. Some, such as continued sea-level rise, are irreversible over hundreds to thousands of years. The report points to strong and sustained reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to limit climate change.”

Fashion firms — which have generally grown much more woke across several fronts — are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint. Companies such as Kering and Canada Goose Holdings have committed to becoming carbon-neutral, some brands are using labels that indicate how big of a carbon footprint a particular product has and more.

As fashion works to reduce its footprint and operate more sustainably, there are other lessons to be learned by keeping a finger to the wind.

“The weather is more volatile today, no doubt about it,” said Evan Gold, executive vice president of global partnerships and alliances at Planalytics, a predictive demand analytics company focused on weather.

“The extreme events are what get the headlines and that’s what often gets the C-level executives to pay more attention,” Gold said. “But the overwhelming majority of the economic impact of weather [on retail] are the day-in and day-out changes. How does it feel to a customer in New York City today versus Salt Lake City and what are they buying now versus a month from now?”

Gold said Planalytics uses big data to understand how customers reacted to weather in the past and feeds that intelligence directly into retailers’ systems so they can react accordingly.

That can mean turning on marketing emails that pitch jackets during a cold snap or waiting to ship bikinis to the stores until it’s really and truly beach weather.

Planalytics says it can help companies boost their net income by 2 to 6 percent every year by better helping retailers plan around weather.

The good news for the brick-and-mortar crowd is that Gold predicted the weather will be “supportive of store traffic” in the second half with temperatures colder than last year. “Need-based categories will spike when the weather moves the customer out of their comfort zones,” he said, pointing to fleece, outerwear, blankets, heaters, soup and coffee.

The bad news is that the longer range forecast has the mercury going worryingly high. And hurricane season is just about to peak.

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Planalytics Holiday Recap

Join Coresight Research and Planalytics for our annual Holiday Recap Webcast.

The webcast will provide an analysis of the post-holiday shopping season.

Topics covered on this webinar include:

  • A recap of initial results and trends from the holiday season.
  • A recap of the weather events of the past several weeks.
  • A review of weather’s impact on total results and specific business segments.
  • The impact of weather on post holiday / January sales including gift card redemption.

Register Now

 

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Planalytics Holiday Homestretch

Join Coresight Research and Planalytics on Thursday, December 16th, at 2 p.m. (ET) for our annual Holiday Homestretch Webcast.

The webcast will provide an updated analysis of the holiday shopping season at its midpoint and an outlook on consumer spending heading into the final “homestretch”.

Co-Presenters:

• John Harmon, CFA, Senior Analyst, Coresight Research
• Evan Gold, EVP, Global Partnerships & Alliances, Planalytics

Topics covered on this webinar include:

  • A review of the first half of the holiday shopping season
  • How will weather play a role in consumer behavior?
  • What will the trends be for the remainder of the holiday shopping season?

Register Now

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Holiday Outlook/ Q3 Recap

Join Coresight Research and Planalytics on Thursday, November 18th, at 2 p.m. (ET) for an outlook for the 2021 holiday retail shopping season and a review of 2021 retail Q3.

Co-Presenters:

  • John Harmon, CFA, Senior Analyst, Coresight Research
  • Evan Gold, EVP, Global Partnerships & Alliances, Planalytics

Topics covered will include:

  • Outlook through the holiday shopping/ early winter season.
  • Discussion about the holiday retail shopping season & winter-sensitive categories that will be the most impacted by weather.
  • Examination of North America regions that experience opportunity and risk in the early fall season.
  • Review of weather conditions and business impacts during retail Q3.
  • Overview of retail environment and developments throughout the quarter.

Register Now

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Heat waves aren’t just scorching people, they are incinerating local businesses

By: Leticia Miranda

“The hotter it gets, the more it’s about need-based shopping,” said one weather intelligence analyst.

Millions of Americans are under an extreme heat advisory recommending they avoid strenuous activity and stay well hydrated — but for some restaurants and stores, the heat wave threatens worker safety and guts traffic into stores, leading to a dramatic downturn in business. . .

. . . “The hotter it gets, the more it’s about need-based shopping,” said Evan Gold, executive vice president of the weather intelligence firm Planalytics. “So, discretionary places tend to take a hit and need-based businesses go up.”

Weather-driven demand across the country has spiked by 21 percent for air conditioners this week compared to an average week, according to Planalytics. Demand for fans increased 15 percent and water toy demand is up 10 percent, according to the firm. Demand for hot coffee fell by 2 percent and lawn mowers by 3 percent.

While hot weather might be good news for the cooling unit industry, it strikes another blow at the already struggling restaurant industry. The pandemic led to the closure of more than 110,000 restaurants last year and nearly 2.5 million jobs were lost, compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to the National Restaurant Association. Restaurant and food service industry sales also fell $240 billion below 2020 projections. . . .

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