Polar Vortex could heat up sales
The extreme artic weather that has broken record low temperatures throughout the U.S has closed schools, businesses, roads, and ruined many a holiday by cancelling hundreds of flights. If you’re a small business owner, seeing all your customers hunkering down against the cold is not going to be good for your profit, but data shows that the polar vortex could actually be heating up sales in the second quarter of the year.
By reading the weather patterns and incorporating them into your annual business plan you could boost your retail sales, making up for slow business in the first quarter. According to the Federal Reserve, monthly sales fluctuations caused by weather generally readjust themselves quarterly and the first quarter is the easiest to recover from, creating a rebound effect in the following quarter.
In the first quarter a dip in sales occurs in numerous retail categories, including furniture and building supplies. But in the second quarter, sales rise as shoppers make up for lost time. Basically it all comes down to your inventory decisions. You need to be prepared for too much stock and stock shortages and the unpredictable weather could cause a sudden surge in snow blowers or a lack of interest in lawn chairs.
One of the best ways to make up for lost sales during periods of bad weather is by introducing incentives of discounts to attract customers. Savvy retailers will be able to read the consumer’s requirements and see where a small discount or marketing ploy could make a big profit.
So it’s all about planning. Once you’ve weathered the polar vortex storm it’s time to come back with a vengeance. As the temperatures start to rise and the country thaws out, your sales will too. Make the most of the opportunity that the weather presents to boost your business and ride out the sales lows by hitting the highs in the next quarter.