Expect cool, wet conditions
Casual Living Staff -- Casual Living, August 1, 2008
Last August was the third warmest in 113 years and marked the third year in a row of warmer than average temperatures. A major heat wave and drought settled over the Southeast from Georgia to Arkansas. Retail industry same-store sales gains beat analysts’ expectations of 2% to 2.5% gains with a gain of +2.9%. Historically, a hot August brings a 6% higher retail industry same-store sales gain than a cold August.
In contrast, August 2008 will be the coolest and wettest in four years for the nation as a whole. The exceptions will be along the Canadian border and parts of Texas.
Replenishment plans built off of last year’s hot and dry conditions will bring a high risk for overstocking warm weather items across the South, where demand could be down as much as 10-50%.
Retailers whose main focus is outdoor furniture and accessories may want to consider a greater emphasis on markdowns and increased advertising to drive sales in a time of unfavorable weather and strong economic headwinds this year.