Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Snow Day at Retail

For the second Saturday in a row, a winter storm warning covers much of the Northeast. This will surely put a dent in Christmas shopping. “Another storm may have you shopping in your PJs,” CNBC says, its headline plugging both online shopping and pajamas, a traditional Christmas gift item. Deeper into the story, “Traffic the first week in December—generally a slower week—was down over 21 percent year over year [nationally].” And that was last week. Today’s storm affects a smaller area but with more severe driving conditions, compared to last Saturday. Based on the calendar, today would figure to be one of the year’s busiest shopping days, short of only Black Friday, Christmas Eve, and the Saturday before Christmas. The weather will wipe out much of the day’s shopping, though, with a snowstorm from Maine to Missouri and precipitation almost everywhere east of the Mississippi. Retailers can hope that the weather improves and people feel like shopping tomorrow.