Cold Weather Next Week a Boon for Retailers

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A blast of cold weather is expected to begin marching across the country next week from the Golden Gate to Cape Cod, sending temperatures down by 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit in the eastern United States by Friday or Saturday. That is good news for retailers still well-stocked with cold-weather gear like jackets, gloves, scarves and space heaters.

Weather and retail analysts at Planalytics expect weather-driven demand for cold weather gear to surge compared with last year, when December temperatures were the warmest in 120 years.

This year’s colder temperatures could put an extra $107 million into the cash registers of apparel stores next week, compared to the same week in 2015. The northern tier of states could see more snow next week, and that means sales of shovels, snow blowers and ice melt should perk up as well.

According to Planalytics, North American weather-driven demand for warm jackets will rise 7% above normal for this time of year and 14% above demand last year. Demand in Los Angeles is expected to rise 70% compared with last year and 22% more than normal. New Yorkers demand for jackets is forecast to rise by 18% year over year and 15% above normal demand.

Accessories like hats, gloves and scarves are expected to see North American demand boost of 19% compared with last year and a rise of 2% above normal. Sales in Minneapolis could rise by 40% compared with a year ago to 19% above normal sales levels.

North American demand for space heaters is expected to rise 57% compared with last year to 3% above normal for the week. Houston could see a 70% year-over-year jump and a gain of 10% above normal levels. In Boston, demand is expected to rise by 50% compared with last year and to soar to 53% above normal.