PLANALYTICS: WEATHER IMPACT ANALYSIS FOR AUGUST, PREDICTIONS FOR SEPTEMBER 2017
Sep. 11, 2017
Source: Planalytics news release
Temperatures were cooler than normal across the eastern half of the U.S. in August. From a "comp perspective" the cool variance was particularly pronounced in the Northeast which is coming off of its warmest August in over 50 years in 2016. Warmer comparisons were concentrated in the West. Nationally, rainfall was slightly higher than last year.
The conditions have supported stronger early season sales for fall categories. Apparel Specialty Stores enjoyed an estimated $169 million boost from the weather vs. 2016. Temperatures encouraged more consumers to begin updating their autumn wardrobe. For example, weather increased demand for fleece 5-15% in eastern markets.
The Home Centers sector saw a $816 million lift from the weather vs. 2016. Weather-driven demand for categories like lawn fertilizers (+9% in the Southeast), lawn mowers (+15% in the Mid-Atlantic region), and exterior paint (+8% in the Midwest) confirm that less oppressive heat was conducive to more outdoor projects and maintenance.
Note: the information above reflects retail calendar month August ending August 26, 2017. Most of the sales impacts from Hurricane Harvey will be reflected in the retail calendar month of September.
September 2016 was the warmest in 55+ years in the U.S. while rainfall totals were the lowest in ten years. These conditions supported traffic in sectors such as restaurants and home improvement but significantly hampered early autumn sales for clothing chains and department stores.
Cooler conditions this year should enable apparel-focused retailers to outperform soft comps. Planalytics' weather-driven demand projections for September 2017 (compared to September 2016), are showing categories such as boots and fleece up 8% to 13% nationally.
Severe weather from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma along with a wetter trend for the East overall will hurt the sectors like restaurants, which are projected to lose at least $600 million in sales versus last year.