Expect cool, wet conditions

Expect cool, wet conditions

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.

Weather Trends International
Jack Grum, vice president

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