Bloomberg: Warm Weather Hurting UK Fashion Retailers

Bloomberg reported (Warm Weather Knocks Over £500 Million Off M&S and Next) on the challenges clothing chains are facing due to milder conditions to start the fall selling season.

“There’s fresh evidence from the FTSE 100 today of quite how vulnerable retailers are to unpredictable weather,” wrote Business of Fashion in their report on this story. “It is well understood that unseasonably warm weather through September and October so far is unhelpful for clothing retailers as they launch autumn / winter product,” wrote JPMorgan Chase & Co. analyst Georgina Johanan.

A news release by BRC (British Retail Consortium) confirmed the impact of the weather headwinds, with Paul Martin, UK head of retail for the KPMG, commenting that “a growing number of categories including clothing, fell into negative territory over September as the unseasonal warm weather delayed trips to the shops to stock up on winter wardrobe purchases.”

Weather-Driven Demand (WDD) indices measure the impact that the weather has on consumer demand, and a look at weekly WDD numbers shows just how difficult the recent period has been. The last six weeks have all recorded negative WDD numbers, compared to the corresponding weeks last year, averaging -3% for the period.  The difficult start to the autumn season comes on top of unfavourable weather for fashion retailers in the spring (-2% in March and April).  In fact, WDDs compared to last year have been negative 22 of the last 31 weeks (71% of the time).

However, better days are on the way. The map to the right shows temperatures compared to last year for next week (ending 21 October).

The cooler temperatures will spark autumnal demand, with +5% WDD for total clothing store transactions expected over the next two weeks.

With predictive Weather-Driven Demand analytics retailers can proactively manage climate-based opportunities and risks.  To learn more and to get a high-level look at the weather impacts for the upcoming holiday shopping season, contact Planalytics.