In The News


European Brands Plan for Hot Times


By: Cathrin Schaer

Classic clothing, better data and a focus on beauty are some ways businesses are prepping for stifling temperatures.

. . . Businesses of all kinds are paying for advanced analysis of consumer data to try to mitigate the impact of volatile weather. But this doesn’t mean forecasting the weather in advance, said Evan Gold, executive vice president of global partnerships at Planalytics, the U.S.-based firm that has been helping companies “weatherize” their operations for about 20 years. As Gold pointed out, one can really only forecast the weather accurately about two weeks ahead of time.

But what can be done is crunching the numbers, Gold told WWD, to analyze consumer data to try to find opportunities in adversity and smooth out the weather-related bumps in the road. For example, as Planalytics and other data analytics firms have noted, consumers have changed their spending habits. Nobody buys their whole fall wardrobe at the end of summer any longer; they buy in response rather than in advance.

“People are waiting until the last minute. They buy at a time of need,” Gold said. And they also have more information, he noted. Thanks to online weather forecasts and smartphones, customers know if next weekend is going to be wet or warm.

“So if I’m a retailer, and I know there is a hot weekend coming up, maybe I would send an alert out to my most loyal customers telling them about a sale on summer dresses,” Gold suggests. This can mean micro-targeting customers by relevant niche, in real time — for example, by geography because it might be stormy in Paris and steamy in Berlin. . . .

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