There is nothing that retailers like – or hate – more than to blame the weather for wreaking havoc on sales. Sausage roll-maker Greggs’ sales go soggy if conditions are too wet or too hot.
Last autumn’s Indian Summer made it hard for retailers to shift jumpers and coats off the shelves. And the washout weather over this year’s August bank holiday meant fewer visitors to the high street.
It’s not surprising then that new research from the Met Office found that almost half of retailers and suppliers (47 per cent) ranked the weather as one of the top three factors outside of the business that drives consumer demand.
Seasonal events and holidays such as Black Friday and Christmas came out on top, with 80 per cent of the 240 retailers and suppliers surveyed citing them as one of the three most influential factor outside of the business followed by competitor activity (70 per cent) and the economy (60 per cent).
The Met Office’s retail business manager Barbara Napiorkowska-Dickson, said: “The UK’s changeable weather means that it can have a significant impact on retail performance and retailers’ abilities to meet customer demands – for example ensuring they stock the right products for both good and adverse weather.”
“If they miscalculate this, retailers risk losing millions through incorrect stock levels and disappointed customers. It can also impact the costs and efficiencies of the whole supply chain,” she added.
The report, which analyses the impact the weather can have on managing supply chains, found 62 per cent of retailers are primarily using weather data for short term sales forecasts, followed by planning stock availability (43 per cent) and planning deliveries from depot to store (43 per cent).