views

Met Office holds the secret to summer success

I THOUGHT this whole &ldquo;green shoots&rdquo; argument was becoming a bit clich&eacute;d&hellip;then we started getting results from the DIY retailers. In a strictly horticultural sense &ldquo;green shoots&rdquo; went a long way towards propping up earnings at Home Retail last week, as sunny weather motivated the great British public to snap up gardening gear, barbecues, bikes and camping equipment.<br /><br />Kingfisher had already set the tone earlier in the month with profits far beating expectations at its B&amp;Q and Castorama businesses. Both we Brits and our French cousins went garden crazy with sales of bedding plants up by 27 per cent and vegetable seeds higher by 43 per cent.<br /><br />But it is not just the DIY chains that find themselves at the mercy of the considerable vagaries of the British weather. John Lewis told us recently they have seen department store sales in the sunny weeks flagging like a husky in the mid-day heat, (my analogy, not theirs) while sales at their Waitrose supermarkets have gained on sales of summer treats like ice cream and barbeque meat.<br /><br />And on that note pub companies like JD Wetherspoon, Enterprise Inns et al, tell us that last summer&rsquo;s miserable weather put us off our booze, while we are more inclined to take to the beer gardens when it&rsquo;s nice out.<br /><br />Come to think of it, wintery weather has a similar effect. Remember the great snow storm of February when literally tons of flakes of snow fell in quick succession and the work-shy stayed at home for a week? Retailers were quick to point out that sales suffered as people stayed home.<br /><br />Maybe business leaders should shun those expensive management consultants and instead pay closer attention to the long term weather reports.<br /><br />In fact, let me help&hellip;The Met Office says a repeat of the wet summers of 2007 and 2008 is very unlikely this year, while temperatures are likely to be above average in the next few months. From what we have learned above, expect the average Briton to leap on the nearest bicycle and pedal to a campsite (ice cream in hand), crack open a bottle of wine, set up a barbeque and cultivate a flower bed and vegetable patch next to their tent.<br />Rebecca Meehan co-anchors Capital Connection and is a presenter on Squawk Box Europe, each weekday on CNBC.