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Cool summer could hurt some retailers’ sales

Althea Chang
Big Data Download
Cool summer could hurt some retailers’ sales

Cooler-than-normal weather could be good for consumers but bad for retailers, according to one expert.

"From a consumer's point of view, there's going to be some great deals to be had for summer items,” said Paul Walsh, vice president of weather analytics at The Weather Channel. That’s because retailers will have to offer discounts to persuade shoppers to buy summer items when it feels like fall outside.

"People don't buy based on the calendar, they buy based on how it feels, and it just doesn't feel like summer anymore," Walsh explained.

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But because they will be spending about 20 percent less to cool their homes, shoppers will have more disposable income for clothes, back-to-school necessities and other items, Walsh said.

"I think that the companies that are going to see the biggest negative impact, at least in the near term, are specialty-apparel retailers, department stores—even mass merchants that have a lot of summer items left over," Walsh said.

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"But I think that as we move deeper into August, if this weather pattern continues, it'll actually be very helpful for [retailers] as they start to flow in fall merchandise and are able to capture the high-margin sales," Walsh added.

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