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Source: Planalytics news release

This February, businesses will be comping to the warmest February in 55+ years. February 2017 was particularly warm across the eastern half of the country accelerating the start to spring purchasing in many key markets. DIY and apparel specialty retailers enjoyed strong early season sales aside from a week 2 Nor'easter that brought heavy snow from New York to Boston and temporarily stifled traffic and spring purchasing. The Pacific states were the one region that experienced a softer start to spring sales due to cooler and wetter conditions.

For February 2018, Planalytics projects that less favorable weather will make year-over-year performance gains challenging. Planalytics is projecting negative national weather-driven demand impacts compared to LY for categories like T-Shirts (-10%), Grass Seed (-8%), and Bicycles (-7%). On the other hand, categories like Fleece (+8%) and Soup (+4%) will benefit from cooler comparisons to LY. Traffic levels and overall sales of spring merchandise are expected to be more favorable in the West. For example, DIY traffic is projected to see a +3% weather boost in Portland and Restaurant traffic is projected to see a +6% weather boost in Los Angeles.