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Prepare for cold conditions

Last November was the coldest in five years for the nation as a whole. It ranked as the third coldest in 10 years, but still ended up being above normal nationally. Despite those frigid temperatures, the weather cooperated on the biggest shopping day of the year as Black Friday was the coldest and driest in more than 16 years. November 2007 was the first fall month to be in-sync weather wise for retail and seasonal sales.

November 2008 will continue the recent trend of cooler Novembers and will be the second coldest in 10 years. Black Friday is shaping up to be the third coldest in 10 years and the overall holiday week is expected to look wet in the South and possibly white in parts of the North.

Cold, wet and snowy Novembers following a cooler October are generally a negative for year-over-year sales gains. Economic headwinds will continue to buffet the industry as well with gasoline prices up 30% over last year, very low levels of consumer confidence, a credit market freeze and a lame duck Presidency.


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