Berwyn, PA—After the tumult of Superstorm Sandy and a recent Nor’easter, the weather fortunately will be cooperative this Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend, the traditional kick off of the holiday shopping season.
At least that’s the forecast from Planalytics, a weather-focused consultancy that advises businesses about weather patterns.
Although some recent surveys predict a drop off in the number of Black Friday shoppers this weekend, Planalytics predicts that given good weather, Thanksgiving falling on Nov. 22, the earliest date possible, and “weather fatigue” will make for ideal shopping conditions.
While Black Friday represents the largest volume day of the weekend, the remaining days of the weekend also see significant amounts of foot traffic. Such as Small Business Saturday, which markets smaller, independent retailers to consumers.
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In addition, Cyber Monday, which falls on the first workday following Thanksgiving, represents the ceremonial kickoff to the online holiday shopping season. Last year, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), approximately 123 million shoppers were looking to make a purchase online, with an estimated $1.25 billion spent.
Expect conditions to improve just in time for the Black Friday weekend, says the Planalytics team. “Temperatures in the East and Midwest will trend cooler than normal and much cooler to a very warm Black Friday last year. Businesses can anticipate these cooler conditions to continue with a generally drier trend right through the holiday weekend.”
Interior states are expected to trend warmer than normal, but still cooler than last year. “The strongest possibility for rain will be in the Pacific Northwest, extending down towards San Francisco, with snowfall limited to higher elevations. Most western locations will trend near to slightly cooler than normal.”
Based on the cooler year-over-year temperatures, weather will help drive demand for seasonal gift-giving categories including sweaters, jackets, boots, scarves, hats, and gloves. Overall foot traffic into malls and shopping centers should be similar to slightly favorable compared to last year.
(For reference, Black Friday last year was the warmest and driest in 5 years with the least amount of snowfall since 1999, Planalytics notes).