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April to bring seasonal flavor

April 2008 started off as a much more favorable retail month than the year prior, but the month’s last week turned dramatically colder and wetter resulting in the coldest April in eight years. The most favorable area was the Northeast, where temperatures were both much warmer than the year before and much warmer than what is typical for this time of year. The Midwest proved to be its coldest in 11 years, while the Pacific Northwest was its coldest in more than 16 years. Precipitation was variable with dry conditions along both coasts, and flooding in the nation’s mid section. The early month warm weather following the cold and wet March brought good news to retailers as same-store sales exceeded Wall Street’s expectations at +3.6%.

This month will see much more favorable conditions for the sale of outdoor living products across much of the South, Plains and Pacific Northwest. Unfortunately, those in the Northeast will need to wait until the final week of April to see the first consistent spell of pleasant spring weather. Rainfall may dampen sales by negatively affecting store traffic across parts of the South and West.

Weather Trends International
Jack Grum, vice president

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