Forecasted Sales and Forecasted Weather Go Hand in Hand
There's no question that weather affects people's mood. People are less motivated to get up, leave their house, and go shopping on a rainy day compared to a sunny one.
Large retailers everywhere are starting to use weather forecasting data to predict their sales for the day/week/month/year.
Retail sales for this past holiday season were above average, but dropped below that mark when snowstorms and cold winter weather hit a large part of the country throughout the past three months. "Retail sales slowed for the third month in a row, dropping 0.6% in February and falling 2.3% over the past three months." (1)
John Dutton, professor emeritus of meteorology at Pennsylvania State University estimates weather
affects around $3 trillion in the private industry alone. (2)
Along with everyday weather there is always the chance for an extreme weather event such as an ice storm, tornado, or even hurricane that could substantially disrupt sales and inventory management.
With all this being said, do your best to factor in the weather when planning employee's schedules and managing your inventory. Weather is one of the most unpredictable things in the world but if you make the extra effort to remain updated and aware of short and long term forecast it could pay dividends in the future.