Weather Trends - March 2006.
-- Casual Living, 3/4/2006 12:00:00 AM
Warmer and Drier Last year, March was the coldest in several years for the nation as a whole, ranking 63rd coldest and 54th wettest in 111 years. The Middle Atlantic and Great Lakes ranked in the top 30 coldest in history. Despite the Easter holiday shift into March last year, retail same store sales were just near the 10-year average at +4% with Spring seasonal categories hardest hit.
This year brings brighter days, especially for the Eastern half of the country with warmer, drier and less snowy weather. Expect demand for Spring seasonal categories to be particularly strong mid-month (12-18) which coincides with the St. Patrick’s Day holiday.
Historically, favorable weather around a Spring holiday combined with promotional events yields very good sales results and high store traffic.
So, despite the Easter holiday shift back into April this year, sales should at least match last year’s sales gains of +4% for the retail industry as a whole.
The North Central U.S. has the greatest risk for snowier and much wetter weather which could dampen sales in that region, especially the front half of the month. A colder pattern will likely return late in the month going into April for the eastern two-thirds of the country which could slow demand for seasonal categories.
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