Hurricane Florence, which at press time Thursday morning had been downgraded to a Category 2 storm, could costs retailers an estimated $700 million in lost sales, according to a report from Planalytics emailed to Retail Dive. Regardless of its category status, Florence’s “impacts, including storm surge, high winds, flooding and power outages, are expected to be dangerous to catastrophic for those in the path of the storm,” according to that note. The impact, however, pales compared to last year’s storms. Some $2.75 billion in consumer and retail sales (including restaurants) were lost to Irma, in addition to costs incurred by the damage caused directly by the storm, according to Planalytics, which provides weather-related planning tools for businesses. Hurricane Harvey cost businesses $1 billion, Planalytics said in an email to Retail Dive last year.
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