Let it snow! How retailers prep for the weather

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As the largest external driver of consumer need, weather is more than just a conversation-starter for retailers. Evan Gold, EVP of global services at Planalytics, a company that helps retailers account for weather, says the trick is to remove weather-driven volatility from historical data to arrive at the “weather-neutral baseline” from which retailers can plan, allocate resources and buy product in advance of the next season.

“The secret around weather is that it very rarely repeats,” says Gold. The common misconception with retailers is that year-over-year, they expect consumer demand to repeat previous patterns, but they overlook weather. On this episode of Retail Gets Real, Gold discusses how retailers can plan for a rainy day.

Evan Gold (left) in the podcast studio with co-hosts Sarah Rand (middle) and Bill Thorne (right)

Evan Gold (left) in the podcast studio with co-hosts Sarah Rand (middle) and Bill Thorne (right)

How weather affects retail depends on consumer reactions to what’s happening outside. “50 degrees in Miami is very different than the same 50 degrees in Minneapolis,” Gold says. Weather can dictate consumer decisions from whether to visit a store to what they put in their baskets. Planalytics works with retailers to design business strategy that consider customer motivations and provides insights on what to order, quantities, prices and even how to display products.

Listen to the episode to learn how weather changes can impact holiday-season retail more significantly, and check out NRF and Planalytics’ special report on five common weather myths that affect retailers.

Sarah Rand is a co-host on NRF’s Retail Gets Real podcast. Meet all the co-hosts and learn more about the show.