February's Record-Setting Weather Takes its Toll on Retailers
March couldn't come quick enough for retailers, especially those in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the country, who watched record-setting snowfalls in February do a number on their bottom lines. According to a recent report from Planalytics, a provider of business weather intelligence, February snowstorms resulted in a $36 billion loss for the U.S. economy. Here are some more findings from Planalytics’ report:
- The "Super Saturday" snowstorm in December 2009 had a bigger impact on the retail economic sector (estimated $2 billion for lost retail sales) as it fell on one of the top five biggest shopping days of the year, but February's storms had a bigger total economic impact as they've been disruptive to a larger amount of the U.S. population for a longer period of time.
- Retail traffic for the country during the week of Feb. 5 was down 9 percent vs. the same time last year, while the week of Feb. 13 was down 1 percent.
- Several big cities saw their retail traffic decline over the two-week period, including Dallas (26 percent), New York and Atlanta (both 18 percent), and Chicago (16 percent).
- Winter apparel proved to be the leading product category over the two-week period, up 109 percent nationally vs. 2009. Other product categories that saw gains included electric blankets (93 percent), boots (69 percent) and hot cereal (18 percent).
- On the flip side, sales of shorts were down 36 percent nationally for the two-week period.
For more information, go to www.planalytics.com.