Is weather really what’s causing a decline in quarterly sales?

By: Gabrielle Winant

The first quarter of 2017 has come to a close and as we wait to hear the earnings from retailers across the board, there has been a lot of speculation on how retailers will fare. We all know that the retail landscape has been a difficult environment recently as more stores begin to shudder and declining sales have been a consistent trend. Despite changes retailers experience, they can all rally behind one common enemy: the weather. A snowy winter causes customers to stay home which leads to a decline in sales, an early summer means summer products are bought before products may be available. Whatever the reason, retailers put a lot of their sales failings on the weather.

We can’t deny that there can be a correlation between weather and sales. When it rains, sales tend to drop because of decreased foot traffic and as seasons change, there is an uptick in sales of products relating to that season. Regardless of the weather, retailers need to make their numbers and no excuse is insurmountable. Instead of blaming the weather, retailers can increase sales and make up deficits by selling to customers who are in their stores on an off day. Having a well stocked and branded store at all times along with cultivating a knowledgeable team creates a buying environment that will increase in-store shoppers and gather a higher conversion rate. The point is to maximize foot traffic that enters the store, rather than focus on those who stay at home.

Understanding the hurdles shoppers experience when in brick and mortar stores will help increase sales revenue. Consistently monitoring shelf health, employee compliance, and consumer sentiment is important to surpassing goals and overcoming bad weather.