NEW YORK – It's beginning to look a lot like ... holiday shopping season. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just weeks away, many experts on consumer and economic trends say the weather will have an impact.
Last year, the cold weather stimulated sales not only in supermarkets but some retailers.
It's all about the seven Ps.
"Prior Proper Planning Prevents Particularly Poor Performance," Burt Flickinger, managing director of the New York City-based Strategic Resource Group consulting firm, said.
Homeowners have to stock up sufficiently on food and emergency supplies.
"The truckers are behind getting 30% of the goods to the U.S. stores. It's going to be dangerous driving conditions across the central U.S. for the truckers, delaying shipments more," Flickinger said.
The bottom line is that shoppers have to get out to the stores and stimulate sales, Flickinger said, and stores have as much inventory out as they possibly can.
Flickinger estimates retailers can generate 250-550% more weekly sales before a significant storm.
"Shoppers of every age and income are smart … (They) are in the stores a few to five days before the storm hits," Flickinger said.
And after the storm, sales drop about 80%, according to Flickinger.
"Largely because the shelves are empty and also the supply trucks from the distribution centers can't get there in time," Flickinger said. "So it's really important to stock up, and stock up this week."
Things like pasta, peanut butter, tuna, canned products, and even bread to freeze are essential because the weather conditions are unbalanced.
"You have to be ready for any storm situation that can move in, in a matter of days," Flickinger said.
Sometimes consumers will shift more to retailers like Amazon because they do not like going grocery shopping when it gets cold.
This quarter, Amazon's sales should go up 15-20% while the supermarket and food retailer sales should increase 5-10%, Flickinger estimates.
And as for those Thanksgiving turkeys, Flickinger recommends getting them early due to the shortage of truckers and drivers.