Weather plays an important role in the consumer’s decisions to shop, particularly during the winter holiday season.On one hand, if it’s too warm, consumers won’t buy high-priced winter apparel like coats and boots, which tend to be higher-priced than bikinis and flip-flops. On the other hand, if wintry weather is too treacherous, consumers are less likely to venture out to their favourite stores.
Citigroup analyst Deborah Weinswig notes that November retail same-store sales so far have been weaker than expectations partly due to unfavorable weather conditions:
Overall, November weather conditions were +1.3 [degrees] F warmer and +3% wetter YOY and likely had a negative impact on retail sales for the month. Cooler temperatures early in the month were not enough to spur demand for cold weather seasonal merchandise. As temperatures warmed throughout the month, seasonal demand remained soft.
Weinswig believes November sales “hinge on a strong Black Friday.” She estimates that November 24-26 will be responsible for around 25% of retailers’ November sales.
Fortunately, weather is looking pretty favourable:
However, the weather outlook for Black Friday is very favourable. Temperatures on Black Friday are expected to be +9.2 [degrees] F warmer YOY, and precipitation and snowfall are expected to be minimal, which are favourable conditions for store traffic. Historically, these conditions have also benefited sales of electronics and giftables on Black Friday.